December 18th, 2013
10:30 AM ET

Arrest, Strip-Search Of Indian Diplomat In New York Triggers Uproar

The arrest and detention of an Indian consular official in New York on visa fraud charges has created a diplomatic uproar, with punitive steps taken against State Department officials in New Delhi.

Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general, was arrested on December 12 after she dropped her daughter off at school, CNN's Pamela Brown reports.

She was not handcuffed until she arrived at the courthouse, a law enforcement source familiar with the case told CNN, calling that "a courtesy not afforded to most people," including alleged white-collar criminals.

Court papers allege that Khobragade had submitted false documents to obtain a work visa for her female housekeeper, paying her less than the amount stated.

Khobragade, 39, was held in a cell with other females and strip-searched in New York following her arrest, the U.S. Marshals Service said, noting such treatment was standard procedure in her case and that no policies were violated. She eventually posted bond and was released.

She has been moved to India's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, an Indian external affairs ministry official said.

The case has set off outrage in India about Khobragade's treatment by U.S. law enforcement officials. But it has also drawn concern from human rights advocates about her allegedly underpaying her housekeeper.

The Indian government has described the diplomat's treatment by the U.S. justice system as barbaric.

"We are shocked and appalled at the manner in which she has been humiliated by the U.S. authorities," Indian external affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said last week. He called the treatment of Khobragade "absolutely unacceptable."

New York police were not involved. The U.S. Marshals Service handled her detention.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Patricia

    I love how forigners & aliens believe they should be treated with special care while americans get treated sometimes worse when they do something wrong..thank you screwed up justice system for not treating all ppl equally like your supposed to when wrongdoing occurs!

    December 19, 2013 at 6:57 am | Reply
  2. Sparrow

    US Marshal Service reports to Holder in Justice Department. No wonder we look like fools!

    December 18, 2013 at 10:58 am | Reply

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