'Expelled' US Envoy had Hired In-laws of Devyani's Maid?
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assistant at the centre of the storm in diplomat Devyani Khobragade case and the US envoy who has been asked to be withdrawn by India, even as External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said there was no question of restoring privileges for the US embassy here.
It is suspected that 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.
Neither the Ministry of External Affairs nor the US State Department has officially identified the US diplomat who will be withdrawn, though they have said the official has a similar director-level rank as Devyani Khobragade.
Official sources had said the diplomat was “involved in processes related to the Khobragade case and subsequent unilateral action by the US”. The US diplomat has been given “little more than 48 hours”.
Incidentally, the original complaint against Khobragade, accusing her of visa fraud and making false statement, was investigated and filed by DSS special agent Mark Smith and her arrest was also managed by the diplomatic security service.
There also seemed to be another 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 in Aurangzeb Lane. One of the previous occupants of that address was Uzra Zaya, who is currently acting assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
Further, the air tickets for the family members — husband Philip Richard and children, Jennifer and Jatin Richard — were paid for by the US embassy’s travel agency, availing of the exemption from duty for diplomats.
Read all about Devyani case here