India makes clear to US “no business as usual” till Khobragade issue resolved

New Delhi, Jan 7, IRNA -- India on Monday made it clear to the US that it cannot be 'business as usual' between the two sides till the Devyani Khobragade issue is resolved.

This was conveyed by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh to US Ambassador Nancy Powell when she met her at South Block here.

Singh firmly put across to the US envoy that 'it is your process and you have to sort it out', pti reported quoting sources as said. New Delhi's assertion assumes significance in the context of the January 13 deadline for the indictment in New York of senior diplomat Khobragade on visa fraud charges.

The US said last month it is proceeding with the prosecution of Khobragade and has no intention of withdrawing the case of visa fraud against her.

India has been demanding the withdrawal of the case against her and an apology from the US for the treatment meted out to the 39-year-old diplomat, including a strip search and detention with criminals after her arrest on December 12.

The incident led to strong protests by the Indian government and widespread indignation in India. At the time of her arrest, Khobragade was the Deputy Consul General in New York. She was subsequently transferred to India's Permanent Mission to the UN.

A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragade was arrested on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richard. She was released on a USD 250,000 bond.

India retaliated by downgrading privileges of a certain category of US diplomats among other steps last month.