Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade gets Narendra Modi support in row with the US

Written by PTI | Ahmedabad | Updated: Dec 18 2013, 14:08pm hrs
Narendra Modi today decided not to meet the visiting US Congressional delegation in protest against the treatment meted out to Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade by New York police last week.

The US delegation comprising senior Congressmen, which travels to Ahmedabad tomorrow, was scheduled to meet the BJP's prime ministerial candidate in Gandhinagar.

"Refused to meet the visiting USA delegation in solidarity with our nation, protesting ill treatment meted to our lady diplomat in USA," he tweeted.

"Gujarat chief minister has refused to meet the US delegation visiting India," a statement issued by his office later said.

"India has in one voice protested the treatment meted out to our Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade. Narendra Modi has refused to meet the delegation to show solidarity with the stand taken by the country," the statement said.

In March 2005, the US government had revoked visa to Narendra Modi, citing his record of governance during the 2002 riots.

Although the European Union country ambassadors had met Narendra Modi in January this year ending the decade old boycott after he won third consecutive election as Gujarat chief minister, the decision of the US government has not changed so far.

India has reacted sharply to Khobragade being arrested and handcuffed in public on visa fraud charges. It had summoned US Ambassador Nancy Powell and issued a demarche in this regard.

39-year-old Devyani Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer, was taken into custody on a street in New York as she was dropping her daughter to school before being released on a USD 250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

While Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi refused to meet the US delegation, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also cancelled his meeting with them scheduled in New Delhi today.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon also did not meet the US team yesterday.

The US delegation comprises Congressmen George Holding (Republican - North Carolina), Pete Olson (Republican Texas) David Schweikert (Republican - Arizona), Robert Woodall (Republican - Georgia) and Madeleine Bordallo (Democrat Guam).