New envoy to US seeks withdrawal of charges

India's new envoy to the US, S Jaishankar, Friday met top US officials and sought withdrawal of charges against Devyani Khobragade even as the State Department said it was looking into the issue of full diplomatic immunity said to have been enjoyed by the her at the time of her arrest.

Jaishankar, who conveyed India's protest, also objected to the manner in which the US government evacuated Indian citizens family members of the maid of the diplomat undermining India's judicial sovereignty, sources said.

Meanwhile, the State Department said it was looking into the matter of Khobragade's accreditation to the UN after India informed it that she was attached to the world body before her arrest. "We have been advised by India that Dr Khobragade was notified to the United Nations as a member of India's delegation," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said.

Leading lawyer Ravi Batra said Khobragade can sue the US for arresting her in violation of Vienna Convention.

Association of Diplomats for decisive action

NEW DELHI: The Association of Indian Diplomats Friday urged the Indian government to insist on withdrawal of charges against Devyani Khobragade, an official apology from the US and appropriate compensation to her for the mental agony and trauma she endured.

The association also asked the government to enforce "strict reciprocity" regarding immunity and privileges of American diplomats and consular officials in India. It also recommended that the matter be raised at all appropriate international bodies so that such treatment is not meted out to anyone else in the future.

The association, comprising retired Indian foreign service officials, has former foreign secretaries, ambassadors, and deputy national security advisors as its members. ENS

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