US confirms Indian diplomat Devyani was 'strip searched', calls it 'standard procedure'

DevyaniUS authorities had alleged that Khobragade made "false statements" in the visa application of an Indian national employed as a babysitter and housekeeper at her home in New York.

The US Marshals Service (USMS) has confirmed that Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was subjected to a "strip search", the same as other arrestees, after her arrest in New York last week.

"As for the type of search, I can only confirm that she was subject to the same search procedures as other USMS arrestees held within the general prisoner population in the Southern District of New York, which in this case was a strip search," USMS spokesperson Nikki Credic-Barrett said.

She insisted that standard intake procedures were followed, saying, "While in USMS custody, standard arrestee intake procedures were followed."

In response to a question on putting the diplomat with drug addicts in the same cell, she said, "The arrestee was placed in a cell with other female defendants awaiting court proceedings."

The spokesperson, however, refused to take any position on the diplomat's arrest, saying USMS was not the arresting agency and takes no position regarding the appropriateness of her arrest.

"The USMS has reviewed its own detention of arrestee Devyani Khobragade and has determined that the USMS, Southern District of New York handled Khobragade's intake and detention in accordance with USMS Policy Directives and Protocols," she said.

Khobragade was arrested on December 12 by the Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and transferred to the USMS pending her initial appearance before a United States Federal Magistrate Judge.

The 1999-batch IFS officer was released on the same day on a USD 250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

US authorities had alleged that Khobragade made "false statements" in the visa application of an Indian national employed as a babysitter and housekeeper at her home in New York.

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