"Sangeeta Richard’s Diary Says She was Happy" - The New Indian Express

"Sangeeta Richard’s Diary Says She was Happy"

Published: 20th December 2013 09:34 PM

Last Updated: 20th December 2013 09:34 PM

Claiming that Devyani Khobragade treated her maid Sangeeta Richard well, her sister Sharmishtha Khobragade has accused the diplomat's former housekeeper of blackmail.

Releasing a page from Sangeeta's diary, Devyani's sister described how she was paid Rs 30,000, apart from other allowances on request.

Devyani treated her maid well and gave her cash on request in addition to the salary as well as an iPad, Sharmishta said on Facebook.

"Just because my sister is silent, doesn't make her guilty", she said.

Moreover, she (Sangeeta) had the freedom to go anywhere she wanted to go and that there was no work pressure as the entire family chipped in, she said.

Devyani, formerly Indian Consul General in New York, faces charges of visa fraud and underpaying Sangeeta Richard.

In the Facebook post, Sharmishtha said Sangeeta had two rooms to herself, ate the same food as the family, had complete discretion in managing the house as she looked after the diplomat's two young daughters.

"Devyani is not allowed to issue a statement and tell her side of the story as the matter is sub-judice. Her silence is leading some people to believe that she is guilty," Sharmistha said.

"Devyani paid Sangeeta whatever she had promised her. A sum of Rs 30,000 was paid into Sangeeta's husband's bank account in India monthly for the period that Sangeeta was employed with her.

"In addition to this, according to the $9/hour contract, Devyani paid Sangeeta several hundred dollars each month in New York in cash at her request.

"Devyani, trusting as always, did not ask for receipts for these payments. But fortunately, there are some ATM withdrawal slips and other pieces of evidence for the same.

"Devyani treated Sangeeta well. Sangeeta had two large, comfortable rooms to herself in a well-appointed apartment with all modern facilities and a separate entrance.

She ate the same food as the family or whatever she wished to have.

"She was allowed to come and go as she pleased, having the house keys, metro pass, and the option to take taxis at Devyani's expense," she said.

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