New Delhi: Even as diplomat Devyani Khobragade was on her way back to India on Friday, the Indian Government sought the expulsion of an American diplomat of similar rank from Delhi.
India asked the United States to withdraw an officer from its New Delhi embassy, blaming him for the events leading up to Khobragade’s arrest and subsequent public humilation in New York in December last year.
Khobragade’s late night flight Thursday followed dramatic developments over 48 hours that saw hardball negotiations between India and the United States, ending in an agreement whereby Devyani Khobragade left the country, armed with full diplomatic immunity from visa fraud charges.
However, if she does return to America, she will still face these charges.
Khobragade was granted full diplomatic immunity on January 8 under the India-US Headquarters Agreement.
On January 9, the U.S. request for waiver of diplomatic immunity to Khobragade was refused by India.
A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragade, was arrested on December 12 on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid. She was released on a USD 250,000 bond.
The diplomat was strip searched and held with criminals, triggering a row between the two sides with India retaliating by downgrading privileges of U.S. diplomats in India.
Khobragade has left her two children with her husband, who is a U.S. citizen. They are likely to join her later.