Arrest, strip-search of Indian diplomat causes uproar

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NEW YORK, NY – It was a routine arrest. Devyani Khobragade was taken into custody in New York on charges that she lied on a visa application for her housekeeper.

U.S. Marshals say Khobragade was placed in a cell with other women and strip-searched.

It’s standard operating procedure, except that Khobragade isn’t a standard civilian.

She’s an Indian Consular, and diplomatic officials in New Delhi are ticked, saying Khobragade’s treatment by the U.S. justice system was barbaric.

Now there’s a bunch of backlash.

U.S. diplomats in New Delhi had their ID cards taken away. Maybe even worse, the security barriers outside the U.S. embassy have been removed. There is even a threat to have all gay U.S. diplomats arrested.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials are doing damage control. White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said Wednesday, “We understand that this is a sensitive issue for many in India and we are looking into the intake procedures surrounding this arrest to ensure that all standard procedures were followed and that every opportunity for courtesy was extended.”

It will probably take a little more than reassuring words to calm down these diplomats. And while matters escalate, the primary hope is that our folks at the Embassy are safe.

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