New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI): India on Wednesday transferred diplomat Devyani Khobragade to its permanent mission to the United Nations, which will give her fuller diplomatic immunity, even as the government vowed in Parliament to ensure her safe return.
The United Nations mission is also located in New York, the city in which Khobragade was posted as the deputy consul general at the consulate when she was arrested and strip-searched last week for visa fraud relating to her maid.
In Parliament, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid, condemning the US action, said he will not return to the House if he fails in his responsibility to bring back Khobragade.
Spelling out the series of steps initiated to scale down the privileges granted to US diplomats in India, he said there was a “conspiracy” in which Khobragade was “virtually trapped”.
He said the diplomat is “innocent” and the US action was unwarranted.
“It is not illegality that she is accused of, but the illegality she refused to oblige,” he said.
Maintaining that the government was not over-reacting by taking a slew of measures against the US, Khurshid said the treatment meted out to Khobragade had “not happened out of blue” and there is a “history” behind it.
He asserted that the government is determined and “will intervene effectively and specifically to ensure that dignity of the diplomat is preserved.”
Khurshid made suo motu statements in both the Houses after members expressed outrage with demands that a resolution be passed to condemn the US action.
“It is my responsibility. We will bring back the diplomat (arrested in New York) and restore her dignity. If I fail to do it, I will not return to this House,” he said in the Rajya Sabha.
In the Lok Sabha, he said, “First and foremost, our effort is to bring her out of this situation and then we will talk to the US government.”
“We strongly condemn the incident...We will do the needful to protect India's interests,” he said.
Assuring Parliament that the country will not be let down, the Minister said government is seriously taking up the issue and will succeed in efforts by overcoming the current situation.