Government Rejigs System to Send Indian Maids Overseas
By Santwana Bhattacharya | Published: 19th December 2013 08:10 AM |
Amidst outrage in Parliament over the treatment meted out to diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York on charges of visa fraud, the Union government on Wednesday said it will intervene to ensure her return to India.
In Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Khurshid said the government’s priority was to bring the Indian diplomat out of the current situation and talks with the US government can follow.
When angry MPs demanded a resolution to condemn the US action, Khurshid said, “It is my responsibility. We will bring back the diplomat and restore her dignity. If I fail to do it, I will not return to this House.” “It’s no longer an issue of an individual, but the sovereignty of a nation is involved,’’ he added.
With tempers rising and members in Parliament speaking in unison in support of the government’s decision to remove privileges of US diplomats and consular staff in India, Khurshid also said, “I don’t think this has been ever done in the country before.” When asked by Lok Sabha MPs why defence deals with the US are not being cancelled, Khurshid sidestepped to state, “All should stand together and talk in one language, one voice in India to succeed on this issue.”
It is also reliably learnt that the government is reworking the system of sending Indian domestic helps abroad for working at homes of diplomats and consular staff. High-level sources confirmed what was being murmured in the corridors of MEA since her arrest that the US embassy had given visas to the absconding domestic help’s husband and two children despite being informed that she was wanted by a Delhi court.
On September 23, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Devyani Khobragade’s domestic help Sangeeta Richards by a Delhi court, which was forwarded to the US State Department requesting them to arrest and repatriate her, but it went unheeded. Instead, Khobragade was arrested and handcuffed in public view by the New York police.