When Devyani Khobragade was arrested a year ago in the US, she was vociferously defended. Recent revelations make us wonder whether the defence was misplaced

Foreign Ministry Strips IFS Officer Khobragade of Her Chargedevyani khobragade interview KHOBRAGADE CASE GETS MURKIER

  1. Devyani Khobragade has been in the eye of a storm for a while now. The charges leveled against her by the Americans, the fact of her arrest and the huge wave of sympathy that we saw for her in India made headlines for a long time. Now the story of the IFS officer is once again in the headlines.
  2. The arrest of Devyani Khobragade was described variously as an “American conspiracy” to an insult to the nation to outraging the modesty of an Indian woman. The government had come out in support of Khobragade at the time; now however the story appears rather different. And hitherto undisclosed details are now coming to the fore; details that shed a rather different light on the whole issue.
  3. The fracas also created tension in Indo-US relations. According to analysts, the incident had resulted in damage to ties between the two countries, creating an impasse; the worst of its kind since 1998. (Source – Time)
  4. Devyani Khobragade gave an interview to NDTV recently. In the interview she thanked the nation for rallying behind her, spoke about the unjust treatment meted out to her by the Americans and denied the charges leveled against her, saying the Americans did not have a case against her (watch the interview below)
  5. The interview did not go down well with the authorities and the Ministry of External Affairs has stripped her of her duties as director in the partnership development division. According to the ministry, Khobragade had not taken necessary permission before making such statements publicly. She has since been put under “compulsory watch”. (Source – NDTV)
  6. A while back, the fact that Devyani ‘s children hold American passports was something else that created controversy. Both her daughters hold US as well as Indian passports and this is a fact that is not allowed under Indian law. Devyani’s father Uttam Khobragade dismissed this as being no big deal. (Source HT)
  7. Another rather unseemly detail emerging about Khobragade is her alleged involvement in the Adarsh Scam, which has made many question the wisdom of India’s vociferous defence of the Indian diplomat. On the basis of documentary evidence the CBI decided to charge-sheet Khobragade and her father in the Adarsh Housing Society. The allegation is that a flat in the housing society was obtained on the basis of a false affidavit.
  8. With the upcoming visit of President Barack Obama on the occasion of the Indian Republic day one wonders what twist the Khobragade saga will take next.

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