Secretary of State John Kerry Expresses Regret to Indian Official Amid Diplomatic Row

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the Indian National Security Adviser to “express his regret” over the detention of an Indian diplomat in New York City, which has strained relations between the two countries, a State Department spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The Indian official, Shivshankar Menon, had called the treatment of India’s deputy consul general in New York City, Devyani Khobragade, “despicable” and “barbaric” after she was publicly handcuffed and strip-searched on Dec. 12. Khobragade, later released on bail, was accused of paying her housekeeper less than minimum wage and submitting false documents on an application for the housekeeper to live and work in the U.S.

The incident provoked a backlash in India, where Khobragade was seen as the victim of U.S. mistreatment. U.S. diplomats were stripped of ID cards that make clearances easier, and bulldozers removed security barricades outside the U.S. embassy in New Delhi.

“In his conversation with National Security Adviser Menon he expressed his regret, as well as his concern, that we not allow this unfortunate public issue to hurt our close and vital relationship with India,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

The U.S. had earlier pledged to review procedures followed in the arrest, invoking a “spirit of partnership and cooperation.”

157 comments
Anshumaan Upadhyay
Anshumaan Upadhyay

The supereme armed force won't fetch u Good friends... :/ looking @ us behaviour u need this self obsessd type of army..

Aman Sunder
Aman Sunder

Hatred and arrogance are part of neither Indian nor American values. Love and warmth are. If u lost ur values, stop defending ur nation. You don't belong there anymore.

Faith Hope
Faith Hope

Nope bro. Debjani falisified and the immigration did their job what they do with other visitors. None can get any extra privileges whoever he/she is. I respect Indian people, but this time they should nt have done this

kstephen
kstephen

US has done the right thing. These Indian IFS & MEA (ministry of external affairs) officials think they are from Indralog (heaven) and can get away with anything.


Here in India these MEA officials are painting a false picture to the Indian media as America has opened their pants! 

USA had written to the Indian Embassy in September 2013 itself but MEA guys ignored it and thought they can get their wrong through.


The case here is mainly under payment to the maid and showing to the US government that they are paying the full salary as per US norms. As per US norms a maid should be paid 10 USD per hour. This works to Rs 144000 per month! The maid was smart. She complained to the US authorities. This Khobragade showed her vengeance by filing a case against her in India and making Indian government to cancel her passport and asked US government to send the maid back to India. See her power just to cover her mistake! The whole MEA supported her because all were underpaying their maids like this Khobragade!


US is not like India. There rules applies to one and all whether rich or poor. 


US had actually given a slap to MEA & IFS babus. They deserve it.


US must educate the Indian public through advertisements in India media and through the internet.

Ravi Teja
Ravi Teja

is it....hahaha lol...i don't think so! forgot China?

mmkamble1
mmkamble1

you know what americans can go and fella te themselves

pieeyey
pieeyey

Notwhitstanding the Indian lady, how is stripe cavity search different from rape?

Why is it legally allowed in the first place?

Shame on such laws.


Niky Zhimo
Niky Zhimo

usa- modern day imperialist...playing double standards :)

kadhananjay
kadhananjay

I'm sure if Indian government check all household employee records of US diplomatic staff then sure many of them will found guilty. What happened with her was like double standards and could be avoided. Don't spread hatred if we cannot make harmony!

vaishnavjagdip
vaishnavjagdip

One has to accept the mistake, sportingly.


Secretary of State has shown human approach, shown worthiness

India --Us relations /friendship should continue as usual

Salome Salome
Salome Salome

Strip searching, diplomat or otherwise, is as inhuman a deed by any country when there aren't sufficient grounds to do so. This is the reason for outrage in India and everything else that precedes it can be dealt by the governments themselves. Note,this comes after a series of incidents like these and India didn't make a big furor over them in the past so had to step up for its own at least now.

RingSolls
RingSolls

What is "despicable" and "barbaric" is that a woman is raped every 20 minutes in India.

PadmanabhanSudarsanam
PadmanabhanSudarsanam

The news item in Mumbai news paper Times of India (link that follows) brings out the facts behind this episode. It may be seen that this issue is on from June 23 and US authorities consistently  ignored the complaints made from Indian consular authorities. US may not agree but there appears to be clear case of racial undercurrent in dealing with this issue!!

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Devyani-case-Its-all-a-maid-in-US-conspiracy-India-says/articleshow/27607516.cms

Tanynia Coote
Tanynia Coote

Your Government need to apologize to your women for failing them time and time again.

Tanynia Coote
Tanynia Coote

I would dare you to frisk my President, the leader of the free world. We would show you why we have the most supreme armed forces ever.

Observer001
Observer001

A few points to straighten things out: 


1. Few in India would take umbrage if this diplomat was charged without hand cuffing, strip searching, cavity searching and jailed with hardened criminals. It's the unnecessary disrespect to a representative of the country that's causing the furor, not the legal response. 


2. She was paying 30,000 rupees per month to her nanny which is very generous by Indian standards, and so Indians underestimate the gravity of her offense. Particularly when US diplomats in India underpay Indians and take advantage of cheap labor themselves. Nevertheless an offense is an offense, and the same view may now be taken with US diplomats in India. 


3. Imagine the furor - or perhaps even a "surgical strike" - if an US diplomat was handcuffed on the street, strip searched and cavity searched in New Delhi. The indignation would have been multiplied many times over and I'm pretty sure many would have asked Obama to resign. 


3. There is a long list of highly placed Americans caught in the same act - underpaying and using illegal migrants as nannies. Check out Nannygate and Zoe Baird; here's another list of the top 6: ranker.com/list/top-6-anti-immigration-activists-caught-using-illegal-labor/melodyyan. Were ANY of them strip/cavity searched?


5. The bottom line is that US double standards are becoming less acceptable in the world today. Treat others the way you would like to be treated, and you might be able to keep your friends.


6. If you think you do not need friends, think again. There is a reason John Kerry has expressed regret.

Santanu Acharya
Santanu Acharya

How about arresting your diplomats' gay partners in India? And all those s*x toys that they bring in their baggage? Both are banned in India. Say...we start taking action now?

Santanu Acharya
Santanu Acharya

As per the American laws the Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade was supposed to pay the minimum wage of $4500 a month to the Housekeeper whom she hired. The diplomat's own salary is $4120 per month. So, as per US laws, she is supposed to pay her housekeeper more than she earns A US diplomat posted in India of equivalent rank and qualification (Devyani is a doctor) earns over $10000 a month. They pay their Indian employees around $1000 per month on an average and in most cases, much less than that. The complete picture will emerge when the US embassies and consulates submit the salary details and bank statements of their employees as demanded by the Indian Government. Talk about Human Rights violation !!! The Indian government should make a law that foreign consulates and embassies in India should pay their staff in India at par with a person working in a similar capacity in their own country. After all, we are not unreasonable..are we? Rule-1: The pay of your employee cannot be more than your own salary. Rule-2: Employee's salary should be proportional to your earning. Given your earning, what you pay to your employee working in a similar capacity in your own country should also be paid abroad. Fair enough !

Kenneth Beck
Kenneth Beck

We were fine way before you got here. And we'll be better when you leave. You people think we need you for some reason, like you've ever done something that makes us owe you anything. What have you done for America.

cd47
cd47

If Kerry expressed regret, it means that he believes the Marshall who did the cavity search was wrong to have done so. In that case, punish the Marshal. Remove her from service. Let India know who she is and the ensuing publicity will make her realise what it is to be humiliated. Meanwhile the "reciprocal" treatment of the Consular staff in India should continue till they learn their lesson …. it is obvious from some of the comments here that the average American is an ignorant  vain bully who uses invective to replace logic and reasoning. 

Aman Sunder
Aman Sunder

See this video and learn about the world. Everyone who is in the USA cares for USA and contributes. Nothing gives you a right to hurt other countries whatsoever. http://youtu.be/VMqcLUqYqrs

Aman Sunder
Aman Sunder

Almost every country in the world provides freedom. Largest number of patents, 15%, in the USA are held by Indians. Handful of immigrants here create a better economy and a better future for you and your kids. No one could have come here if the country did not want them to come. So ya... either you can just say thank you and enjoy this better future OR you can work hard to be competitive enough to stand ground with an Indian or Chinese immigrant (who is lower than you by your standards) to have a face to have more ideas than a high school grad. Either way, no one gives a darn what you think about yourself and others. No country is supposed to humiliate diplomats of any country, Germany, Japan, USA, India or Sudan. Period! Get this basic message loud and clear because you don't seem to understand what really is going on here. Don't spread hatred, if you are not capable of giving love back.

kadhananjay
kadhananjay

@kstephen  If Indian government screen all US officials in India as per Indian law sure most of them can be prosecuted. Then you will say it is revengeful. If people do like this it is crime and if government officials do it it is as per law. It is double standards. US officials also do a lot of things here which are not as per law. Maureen Chao, the vice consul of the U.S. consulate in Chennai, India made racial comment in India and enough to prosecute her here. But it is handled diplomatically and matter is not stretched further after US apology.

mmkamble1
mmkamble1

@RingSolls i remember reading about 15 years old american girl who killed herself when judge denied her charge that she was raped saying she doesnt look minor to him. i think judge is not yet fired in that case... what about how your entire football team "fingere d" a 16 year old passed out girl and moved her in that condition from one house to another  as if she is a sex toy

AlWolfStann
AlWolfStann

@PadmanabhanSudarsanam so she has been working prior to july under terms illegal under US law. She "escaped "the situation, and filed complaint as a trafficked person. Then she comes back to the us for her employer's arrest, and wishes to stay here having been a victim?

PadmanabhanSudarsanam
PadmanabhanSudarsanam

US authoritie also should apologise for the racial undercurrent in dealing with this case!

mmkamble1
mmkamble1

ha ha .... china will have supreme armed force in next 15 to 20 years ... india currenly ranked as having 4th best armed forces(check any defence source) soon we will be stronger that us of a. its not if but when

RedSalute
RedSalute

Send him over......and your supreme armed forces (that couldnt win in vietnam and afghanistan) too

AlWolfStann
AlWolfStann

@Observer001  "Few in India would take umbrage if this diplomat was charged without hand cuffing, strip searching, cavity searching and jailed with hardened criminals. It's the unnecessary disrespect to a representative of the country that's causing the furor, not the legal response. ' In america, all (men) are equal. She received no better or worse treatment than anyone else. If she believes she is above others, she is in the wrong country.

"many would have asked Obama to resign." the republicans ask Obama to resign daily anyway , for such offenses as using a urinal.

StopH1bNow
StopH1bNow

how about you heading back to india.....?

mxm123
mxm123

Please do. Then see Indian body shop companies boycotted by the world. Then what is India going to export ?

StopH1bNow
StopH1bNow

go back to india, and petition your own government to do whatever it is you like...here in the U.S., you follow OUR laws, not the other way around...deal with it..

hemantsoman
hemantsoman

Dear Kenneth,


Same was said to your ancestors by the original Indian inhabitants of the land that you have now come to call home. Irony?

RedSalute
RedSalute

I am sure the Red Indians must be thinking the same about you Kenneth......

Observer001
Observer001

@AlWolfStann  "She received no better or worse treatment than anyone else. If she believes she is above others, she is in the wrong country."


Are you serious? Suggest reading my post again, paying particular attention to the #3 on American double standards.

hemantsoman
hemantsoman

@AlWolfStann Dear Wolf, kindly go through article 40-42 of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations.



Also bear in mind, how America reacted when one Mr Raymond Davis, a plumber-spy-technician attached to the US consulate was detained back in 2011.



Mere repetition of slogans such as 'land of the free & home of the brave' doesn't necessarily make it true. Nor does sitting in one's home and snooping on conversations of leaders across the free world make you a big deal. The word you are looking for is 'pervert'.


And lastly, it is brain-drain from across the world into the US that has made the US what it is today. Your own kinsmen are only good at guzzling beer and fries and popping some viagra to get it out of your system.


I could actually point out a dozen other things but i do not want the readers to mistake this for a rant than the factoid it is.


Have a good day sir. Seasons greetings!

mmkamble1
mmkamble1

@mxm123 honey we dont have export base economy like china... you should search what happened when we did those nuclear tests.. they tried to boycott india.... us understood then how little we depend on them

hemantsoman
hemantsoman

@StopH1bNow What makes you think we are sitting in the US and talking to you? Once again, your ignorance shines through clearly demonstrating that it is brighter than  the pole star.

mmkamble1
mmkamble1

@pieeyey @StopH1bNow @PadmanabhanSudarsanam she is probably fat and ugly as normal americans... who enjoy cavity search as if most normal thing n the world.. i want that attorny and cops to be tried for sexual assault and rape.. according to indian laws this cavity search is rape with minimum sentence of 10 years