Yet another chapter in the ongoing diplomatic dispute between India and the U.S. is unfolding this week, as India demanded on Friday that the U.S. withdraw a diplomat from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi in an apparent tit for tat in the de facto expulsion of an Indian diplomat who was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury last week.
Details of the dispute between India and US
The case revolves around Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, a 39-year-old mother of two, who was charged with exploiting her Indian housekeeper, allegedly requiring her to work extremely long hours for low pay, as well as not appropriately disclosing employment of the housekeeper to immigration authorities. Khobragade has denied the charges.
The case, in which Khobragade was allegedly strip-searched while in police custody, has made headlines in both countries and has spiraled out of control into a serious diplomatic brouhaha. The U.S. has long been viewed with suspicion by many Indians, dating back to the Cold War, and many also feel Americans are biased against Indians. Indian officials have described the treatment of Khobragade while in custody in New York as “barbaric”.
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Apparent compromise falls apart
The new demand by India’s Foreign Ministry for the removal of an American diplomat came shortly after an apparent compromise of sorts had been worked out. The deal involved Khobragade being indicted by a federal grand jury in Manhattan, but also being granted immunity so that she was free to leave the country. Khobragade returned to New Delhi on Friday, and most analysts thought that would likely be the end of the affair.
However, India’s demand that the U.S. remove a diplomat of equal rank from the U.S. embassy in India clearly indicates that the Indian government was not satisfied with the legal compromise worked out last week. Stay tuned for further developments, as there are clearly a couple more shoes to drop before the books are closed on this incident.