Haze over Expelled US Envoy, Devyani Maid Nexus Lifts - The New Indian Express

Haze over Expelled US Envoy, Devyani Maid Nexus Lifts

Published: 12th January 2014 09:12 AM

Last Updated: 12th January 2014 09:12 AM

A direct link seems to be emerging between the domestic assistant at the centre of the storm in diplomat Devyani Khobragade case and the US envoy who has been asked to be withdrawn by India.

It is suspected that the in-laws of maid Sangeeta Richard may have been employed with Wayne May, regional security officer at the US embassy, whose presence is no longer wanted by India.

There seems to be a reason for the special attention given to Richard’s case - the elderly Richard couple had been inherited as driver and cook by various US diplomats who resided at the diplomatic residence on Aurangzeb Lane.

The air ticket for the family members -- husband Philip Richard and children, Jennifer and Jatin Richard - were paid for by the US embassy’s travel agency, availing  exemption from duty for diplomats. A copy of the e-tickets issued to the family clearly shows “jntaxemptedusembassy” under the category for fare  calculation.

Under “additional passenger information”, the two listed passenger phone numbers seem to lead to a Chanakyapuri area code, with one of them going straight to an extension number. The US embassy also shares the same area phone code.

Meanwhile, Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said there was no question of restoring some of the additional privileges being enjoyed by the US embassy. “I don’t think that we should be allowed to show more favour to one than to another,” Khurshid told a TV channel.

On the move to tell the US embassy to stop commercial activities within its premises, he asserted that it wasn’t retaliation. “I think it was an appropriate response not a retaliation,” he said.

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