Devyani's arrest: No special treatment to US diplomats at airports from tonight

Devyani KhobragadeIndia on Tuesday had taken a slew of retaliatory steps to strip US diplomats and their families of privileges including withdrawing all airport passes and stopping import clearances for the US embassy, strongly denouncing the arrest and strip searching of Khobragade (Reuters)

US diplomats and their families in India will not be able to avail special treatment at airports from Thursday night when the deadline expires for surrendering their special passes, as part of government's retaliatory action against the treatment meted out to diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York.

India on Tuesday had taken a slew of retaliatory steps to strip US diplomats and their families of privileges including withdrawing all airport passes and stopping import clearances for the US embassy, strongly denouncing the arrest and strip searching of Khobragade, India's Deputy Consul General in New York.

The government had asked the US Consular diplomats and their families to surrender airports passes by tonight.

The Government had also asked the US Embassy to provide a list of all Indian nationals working with its Consulates, including domestic servants, by December 23.

The government has also sought copies of their contracts, bank accounts, salaries and PAN numbers.

It has also stopped all import clearances, including liquor for the US embassy. The traffic barricades near the US embassy on Nyaya Marg here were also removed.

39-year-old Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer posted as Deputy Consul General in New York, was taken into custody last week on visa fraud charges as she was dropping her daughter to school before being released on a USD 250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

Khobragade was put through both strip and cavity searches, procedures normally used for criminals, evoking a sharp reaction from India.

She was yesterday transferred to India's Permanent Mission to UN to give her fuller diplomatic immunity.

US Under Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Windy Sherman called India Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh to follow up on Secretary of State John Kerry's telephonic talk with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.

The two discussed specific steps to resolve the situation arising out of the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in the US.

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