Devyani arrest case fallout: India withdraws ID cards of US Consulates

DevyaniThe firm reciprocal step by the Indian government came following the end of Monday deadline for surrendering the identity cards provided to US Consular Staff in India. (AP)

India on Tuesday withdrew all ID cards provided to US Consular officials as a reciprocal measure taken by the New Delhi government in retaliation against the alleged harsh treatment of its deputy consul-general Devyani Khobragade in New York following her arrest in the alleged visa fraud case involving a maid she had taken from India. 

The firm reciprocal step by the Indian government came following the end of Monday deadline for surrendering the identity cards provided to US Consular Staff in India. 

The new ID cards will only be given to the Consular officials and not to their family members.

Acting reciprocally, US consular staff will now only be permitted to import their requirements during the first six months on assuming office.

According to reports, the data including salaries paid to staff in US schools has been received and is being analysed. 

Notably, disturbed by the alleged 'indignities' its diplomat underwent after her arrest in the visa fraud case, India moved on multiple fronts to squeeze American diplomats in the country. 

US consulate staff and their families were asked to return their diplomatic ID cards; details were sought of Indians employed in the consulates, along with their bank accounts and PAN numbers, as also names and salaries of teachers employed at US embassy schools; import duty waivers, including permits to bring in liquor, were withdrawn.

The government also got the Delhi Police to remove the special barricading outside the US Embassy in New Delhi that had closed a part of Nyaya Marg to the public.

India had strongly conveyed to the US that the manner of Khobragade's arrest was unacceptable.

Besides being handcuffed in public, Khobragade, 39, was also allegedly strip-searched and forced to undergo repeated body cavity searches before she was freed on a $250,000 bail bond.

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