India's deputy Consul General in New York, Devyani Khobragade, was arrested Thursday on charges of visa fraud pertaining to a domestic help brought from India who she was allegedly underpaying and exploiting. Announcing the arrest in New York, Manhattan's Indian-American US attorney Preet Bharara said: "Foreign nationals brought to the United States to serve as domestic workers are entitled to the same protections against exploitation as those afforded to United States citizens." Action was apparently taken against Khobragade on the basis of allegations raised by the officer's former India-based domestic assistant, Sangeeta Richard, who has been absconding since June this year, the Indian Embassy in Washington said in a statement. The embassy has conveyed its "strong concern to the US Government over the action taken against Khobragade" M. Sridharan, Counsellor, Press, Information and Culture said in response to queries from the media. The US side have been urged to resolve the matter with due sensitivity, taking into account a pending court case in India and the diplomatic status of Khobragade, the statement added.
Washington, Dec 13