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Indian Diplomat arrested in NY for worker abuse
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:36 am    Post subject: Indian Diplomat arrested in NY for worker abuse Reply with quote

What a disgusting representative for India and a total hypocrite. She claims to be an advocate of women's rights and ends up exploiting her own labor.

http://nypost.com/2013/12/13/top-indian-diplomat-paid-nyc-nanny-just-3-an-hour-feds/
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himmat01
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And.......What a disgusting response from the GOI. Instead of sacking her, they are actually defending her and raising the issue with the US Govt.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^ Himmat - I hear that IFS officers on posting can legally take their domestic help along (GoI pays for flights and visa and so on). Any suggestion that the officers have to manage without their favorite domestics is going to lead to a lot of angst, which reflects in the GoI response.

Clearly - fudging employment/ salary papers cannot be condoned for any reasons. Sure, you can talk about handling the situation in a more "appropriate" manner, and that's the only point I do agree with.

Expect some US consulate flunkey to be picked up in Delhi shortly, for doing something illegal - that would be the typical response.
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
^^ Himmat - I hear that IFS officers on posting can legally take their domestic help along (GoI pays for flights and visa and so on). Any suggestion that the officers have to manage without their favorite domestics is going to lead to a lot of angst, which reflects in the GoI response.

Clearly - fudging employment/ salary papers cannot be condoned for any reasons. Sure, you can talk about handling the situation in a more "appropriate" manner, and that's the only point I do agree with.

Expect some US consulate flunkey to be picked up in Delhi shortly, for doing something illegal - that would be the typical response.


When you employ someone in the US, US labor rules will supercede any Indian rule. In this case, she applied for a work visa for the nanny, claimed to pay her $4500 a month and instead paid less than $600 a month. The nanny was not brought to the US as a member of the Indian Diplomatic Mission under a diplomatic visa, so there is no way to exempt her from standard US labor laws.

Now the real question is if this transgression is covered by diplomatic immunity. It seems that is open to discussion.
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stealthpilot
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
Expect some US consulate flunkey to be picked up in Delhi shortly, for doing something illegal - that would be the typical response

The typical response from India would be to do nothing.
If they do retaliate, it could be by insisting Indians working in the US embassy/consulate get paid US wages (since Indians temporarily taken to America need to be paid American wages)

ryder1650 wrote:
What a disgusting representative for India and a total hypocrite. She claims to be an advocate of women's rights and ends up exploiting her own labor.

Your link is a dramatic New York Post article .... top Indian diplomat gets busted??

Going a bit too far maybe, negating all the work she has done for womens rights over this?
Diplomats even consul workers are allowed to take their domestic help (from India) abroad, but like you said local laws have to be adhered too. For temporary Indian help abroad that would mean paying 6000 rupees a day, not taking into account other benefits. So she (not the only one I assume) idiotically fudged paperwork. Stupidity on her part and the systems. If you think its only Indian diplomats who do these things think again. Diplomats/people in foreign services do a lot of this rubbish in ALL countries (not just poor ones), mostly it's ignored.

The Indian contention is -this should have been handled much much better by the Americans. No argument she did something stupid but handcuffing and arresting her over this? She was not a threat nor was she going to flee the country.
If any country arrested a United States deputy consul general and publicly handcuffed him/her and took him/her away chances are it wouldn't go down well. This wasn't a hit and run or something, it should have been dealt with better.

ryder1650 wrote:
Now the real question is if this transgression is covered by diplomatic immunity. It seems that is open to discussion.

I don't think the Indian side is pressing for diplomatic immunity.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-12-15/india/45215624_1_immunity-vienna-convention-sujatha-singh
India has pointed to Article 41 (section 3) of VCCR (Personal Inviolability of Consular Officers) which clearly says that proceedings against a consular officer "shall be conducted with the respect due to him by reason of his official position". India has taken this up forcefully with the US saying that the action by law authorities was in complete violation of this Article and least expected from a friendly country.

The government has been stunned by the manner in which the 39-year-old Khobragade, a mother of two, was detained from near the school where her children are studying and how later she was handcuffed. As a consular official, Khobragade had certain privileges and limited immunity but not complete diplomatic immunity. Even if US authorities were within their rights to proceed against her, they had no business to humiliate her, India reasoned with American officials.

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Jeh
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
I hear that IFS officers on posting can legally take their domestic help along


Shocked ?!

What for? Our precious diplomats can't do their own laundry, cooking and cleaning? Surely a local babysitter or creche would suffice for the children? What a ridiculous perk!

I don't think Bharara will let go of this case now. DAs like to go for these high-profile cases and I'm sure he's done his homework on the diplomatic immunity issue before ordering the arrest. India's not a major diplomatic power and the Americans aren't pushovers, either, so unless she's been wrongly indicted I don't see this ending well for her.

And I hope it doesn't - $600 isn't even near subsistence wage for New York, even if your food and lodging is provided by the Service.
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iah87
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

India will push hard on this, ultimately the prosecutor in NY will drop or reduce the charges. I doubt if she will be convicted of any thing, she may be allowed to leave USA quietly. Hey, India can always issue another passport and spirit her out of the country in no time.

And yes, India is not a pushover as it was some decades ago, the current US administration does not want another headache, they have fights with lots of countries on the NSA issue.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeh wrote:
Nimish wrote:
I hear that IFS officers on posting can legally take their domestic help along


Shocked ?!

What for? Our precious diplomats can't do their own laundry, cooking and cleaning? Surely a local babysitter or creche would suffice for the children? What a ridiculous perk!


Honestly - I don't think its that ridiculous. They are living/working in Indian territory even when abroad, deal with the same ridiculous set of babus and netas and chamchas and becharas, nothing really changes for them. And a diplomat is expected to do a lot of entertaining at home (yes I'm sure) for the back-channel stuff, and he can't sit and make a baghara baingan and dum biryani from scratch while attending to and meeting with the guests. The same cook sees 6K/month in India vs. 30K/month in the US (plus the opportunity to make some dollars), which do you think he'll prefer? From what I know there's actually a long line of domestic help looking for such opportunities abroad - at least here there's no agent and so on involved.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iah87 wrote:
India will push hard on this, ultimately the prosecutor in NY will drop or reduce the charges. I doubt if she will be convicted of any thing, she may be allowed to leave USA quietly. Hey, India can always issue another passport and spirit her out of the country in no time.

And yes, India is not a pushover as it was some decades ago, the current US administration does not want another headache, they have fights with lots of countries on the NSA issue.


Agree fully - the DA is just putting on a grand show for his own goals. There was a great article by an ex-Indian-diplomat that I read today - explaining the situation and how badly the US has screwed up. Parallel scenario - the Italian marines who were arrested by India - you saw the kind of pressure from Italy to have them released from here.
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avbuff
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well now that you are done the Indian diplomatic bashing, just ponder over a certain things that one should know.

1) Strip search and handcuff in public? You cannot arrest a diplomat like some pickpocket or shoplifter. Unless it's a grave crime endangering the society, you cannot handcuff them. It has to go via the Indian consulate and unless the judge approves the arrest can the person be arrested. That too a civil decorum has to be followed. This is what the law states, so before embarking the moral stance, take notice of this.

2) Secondly, would US DARE to do this to a Russian or Chinese diplomat? I don't think they have the balls to do that in public.

3) USA seems to have a habit of violating diplomatic protocols, something that they did with Abdul Kalam. They refused to follow the local Indian law at that time.

Now that point is what is she accused of? Underpaying her domestic help and fraudulent documents for visa processing.

Well let's see. It is my understanding that diplomats are paid by their respective govts to which they represent. Which means that they are not paid by the US govt per se. and the same goes for their dependents. Then how does the US labour law come into the picture?

As far as forging documents for visa, yes, the charges should be levied on her. And I do not think, such a nasty treatment is "Standard Operating Procedure" by the USA.
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vivekman
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, Ojas.

I don't say she didn't break the law. Yes, she definitely did by declaring she will pay her maid an X amount and paying her Y. And for this, she should be charged. Period.

But the treatment meted out to her by the US law enforcement agencies is typical of the treatment druggies and common thieves get, not the deputy consul-general of a supposedly friendly nation and an important trading partner.

Hell, such treatment was not even given to Soviet era diplomats during the height of the cold war!!! This is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE behaviour especially against a diplomat. I can only imagine what they will do if one of us common folk ever break a law there!

And India should retaliate strongly, as it is beginning to do.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Diplomats-arrest-Home-minister-Rahul-Gandhi-refuse-to-meet-US-delegation/articleshow/27515440.cms

Quote:
NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday hardened its stance further against the US for the humiliation meted out to its deputy consul general in New York Devyani Khobragade with Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi refusing to meet a visiting US congressional delegation.


And it is getting ugly...

TOI is just reporting that India has asked the US to ask its consular employees posted in India to return their ID cards provided by India.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vivekman wrote:


And it is getting ugly...

TOI is just reporting that India has asked the US to ask its consular employees posted in India to return their ID cards provided by India.


One news article even said that security barricades are being removed from the street in front of their Embassy. That is going to leave a mark.

Narendra Modi has also refused to meet the Congressional delegation. Good to see some unity at last.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Envoy's arrest: India launches diplomatic offensive against US

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Envoys-arrest-India-launches-diplomatic-offensive-against-US/articleshow/27529473.cms

Unusual show of b**ls by GoI
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Jeh
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am disappointed by the support for this woman on this forum. She has broken the law, defrauded their immigration process by lying on the form and wronged her domestic help by paying her a third of the minimum wage. She is a consular official, not a member of the embassy staff, so her personal inviolability is very limited. The context is one of several years of ill-treatment of domestic staff by our arrogant and pampered diplomats, and this is the third incident in as many years, in New York alone.

We are a pathetic diplomatic power - we barely care about our own citizens within our borders, and have repeatedly proved ourselves to be roundly useless at protesting the genuinely inhuman treatment of our nationals stranded abroad, and of our migrant workers enslaved in the living hell of the Gulf. That the government is finally closing ranks to protect one of its own isn't a cause for celebration, it is a sign of the rottenness of our system, which only protects people like her, and which thinks corrupt officers like this worthy of a consular post in New York.


Thank goodness for the Business Standard. http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/follow-local-laws-113121500642_1.html

Follow local laws
The unnecessary spat over a diplomat's arrest

Mr Bharara has made it his mission to address the question of mistreatment of domestic workers by Indians in the US, which has reached alarming proportions of late. In June 2011, India's consul general in New York was sued by his Indian housekeeper for forcing sexual favours. In February 2012, another consular official paid a fine for forcing an underage Indian girl to work without pay and for "barbaric treatment".

Clearly, Indian diplomats can no longer maltreat their domestic workers in the US. The US has worker-friendly laws, and it is to India's shame if its officials are not following them. This incident cannot be allowed to cast a shadow on India-US relations, and the ministry of external affairs should end its policy of supporting the use of domestic workers for its officials abroad.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeh wrote:
I am disappointed by the support for this woman on this forum. She has broken the law, defrauded their immigration process by lying on the form and wronged her domestic help by paying her a third of the minimum wage.


Oh please!!!!! Leave that gyaan somewhere else! Rolling Eyes

Whatever the crime, there is a basic courtesy that a country's deputy consul-general deserves. You don't treat a consular officer like a petty criminal.

And as far as local laws are concerned, what would the US authorities do, if a gay American diplomat is caught with his pants down (pun intended) and is put in the Chanakyapuri police chowki lock-up because he violated Article 377? (even though we all know how archaic and stupid that law is!)

They would do everything under the sun short of declaring nuclear war, won't they?

The issue is not of the crime she committed. The issue is of how a consular officer from a supposedly friendly country was humiliated by strip searching and handcuffing her close to her children's school! Is this how a civilized country behaves? Hell no.....

And if that was "SOP" I want to see a foreign diplomat being subjected to the "SOP" of a typical Jat police constable from the Delhi police and then wait for the reaction from the country concerned!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vivekman wrote:

Whatever the crime, there is a basic courtesy that a country's deputy consul-general deserves. You don't treat a consular officer like a petty criminal.



A criminal is a criminal, never mind if she happens to be the Consul General of a country.

And all criminals should be treated alike; There's no need to give anyone any bloody privilege just because he/she happens to be working in a certain place.

The law should apply to everyone equally, and that happens to be the case in the US, and it usually is not the case in India. Lets quit being in denial and accept that fact.

I fully agree with Jeh.

and I also agree that gay US diplomats caught in India with pants down should be subject to our law like anyone else, and Indian diplomats caught smuggling drugs in Singapore should be strung up like everyone else is.

Nobody deserves any privileges, especially law breakers.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
And all criminals should be treated alike; There's no need to give anyone any bloody privilege just because he/she happens to be working in a certain place.

The law should apply to everyone equally, and that happens to be the case in the US, and it usually is not the case in India. Lets quit being in denial and accept that fact.

I fully agree with Jeh.

and I also agree that gay US diplomats caught in India with pants down should be subject to our law like anyone else, and Indian diplomats caught smuggling drugs in Singapore should be strung up like everyone else is..


Hah!!! That's so easy for people like you and me to say. But that is certainly not how diplomatic circles operate, whether you like it or not.

And by your own yardstick, India should also adopt a tit-for-tat response right? Well, your wish may well be granted!

Read this:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Parties-demand-apology-from-US-support-tit-for-tat-response/articleshow/27541217.cms

Quote:
Reacting sharply to the arrest of the diplomat, former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha said the government should hit back by punishing same sex companions of US diplomats in India following the Supreme Court ruling on gay sex.

"Media has reported that we have issued visas to a number of US diplomats' companions. 'Companions' means that they are of the same sex. Now, after the Supreme Court ruling, it is completely illegal in our country, just as paying less wages was illegal in the US," the senior BJP leader said referring to visas issued to same sex 'companions' of US diplomats living in India.


Happy now? What have we achieved?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
vivekman wrote:

Whatever the crime, there is a basic courtesy that a country's deputy consul-general deserves. You don't treat a consular officer like a petty criminal.



A criminal is a criminal, never mind if she happens to be the Consul General of a country.

And all criminals should be treated alike; There's no need to give anyone any bloody privilege just because he/she happens to be working in a certain place.

The law should apply to everyone equally, and that happens to be the case in the US, and it usually is not the case in India. Lets quit being in denial and accept that fact.

I fully agree with Jeh.

and I also agree that gay US diplomats caught in India with pants down should be subject to our law like anyone else, and Indian diplomats caught smuggling drugs in Singapore should be strung up like everyone else is.

Nobody deserves any privileges, especially law breakers.


If only things were so black and white in the world of diplomatic relations....

Another interesting take on the US Attorney's motivation to make an example out of the Indian diplomat:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/khobragade-victim-of-local-ambition-113121300815_1.html

"There are speculations that the US attorney is looking for 'scalps' as a springboard to public office"
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vivekman wrote:
Jeh wrote:
I am disappointed by the support for this woman on this forum. She has broken the law, defrauded their immigration process by lying on the form and wronged her domestic help by paying her a third of the minimum wage.


Oh please!!!!! Leave that gyaan somewhere else! Rolling Eyes

Whatever the crime, there is a basic courtesy that a country's deputy consul-general deserves. You don't treat a consular officer like a petty criminal.

And as far as local laws are concerned, what would the US authorities do, if a gay American diplomat is caught with his pants down (pun intended) and is put in the Chanakyapuri police chowki lock-up because he violated Article 377? (even though we all know how archaic and stupid that law is!)

They would do everything under the sun short of declaring nuclear war, won't they?

The issue is not of the crime she committed. The issue is of how a consular officer from a supposedly friendly country was humiliated by strip searching and handcuffing her close to her children's school! Is this how a civilized country behaves? Hell no.....

And if that was "SOP" I want to see a foreign diplomat being subjected to the "SOP" of a typical Jat police constable from the Delhi police and then wait for the reaction from the country concerned!


Bang on Vivek.

@Jeh

It is not about whether she is a criminal or not. If she is, yes prosecute her as per law. My contention is how the US brazenly violates bilateral treaties, extradition treaties and immunity laws as and when it suits them.
I support the retaliation so that the US should be more cautious in dealing with diplomats. If they don't like it, strip all people of posts from diplomatic shield. However the treatment MUST be equal for officials from both countries.
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iah87
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years ago a Mexican citizen was arrested in Mexico after allegely committing murder in Texas. When the person was extradited, State Dept and Texas AG assured that death penalty will not sought. Yet, they proceeded to try this person for death penalty. To this day, Mexico will not extradite its own citizens (or any other citizens except US) if they are subject to death penalty in US.

US brazenly violates treaties all the time. Foreigners who are arrested are not notifed of their consular rights and the police never bother to inform the consul when they are arrested.

The NY cops are some of the worst, they have a question and frisk policy for no reason. It is currently being challenged in the courts.

A sure way to retaliate is to convict the DA in absentia in India for excessive force and issue a world wide police alert. Many in Europe would be delighted in arresting this DA. This must be stopped here otherwise it will get worse in the future.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vivekman wrote:

"Media has reported that we have issued visas to a number of US diplomats' companions. 'Companions' means that they are of the same sex. Now, after the Supreme Court ruling, it is completely illegal in our country, just as paying less wages was illegal in the US," the senior BJP leader said referring to visas issued to same sex 'companions' of US diplomats living in India.


Happy now? What have we achieved?[/quote]

Imagine the world's response to this headline:

"India responds to consul worker's arrest for human exploitation by arresting homosexuals"

Unfortunately, India really does not have much leverage here. The last thing they need is to further dirty their global human rights reputation that was already hammered after the Delhi rape case.

This will be handled via diplomatic back channels, which is where it belongs. The likely outcome is back pay for the exploited worker plus some extra in lieu of a civil lawsuit. The consul worker will likely leave the country with her global reputation destroyed. India will announce that it is reviewing all employees of consul/embassy staff to ensure compliance with local laws.

Any tit-for-tat response by India will not help their cause at all. Remember, in international relations (or any other form of negotiation), you want to keep your dirty laundry out of the public's eyes to maintain any sort of leverage. Unfortunately, India is not currently in a position of power to push its policies onto the rest of the world. India is instead dependent on other developed countries for supplying energy, machinery, and allowing Indian citizens to enter as temporary workers as a band-aid solution for low opportunity in the country itself.

It looks like the Indian government is putting a lot of restrictions and investigations on the US embassy in Delhi right now. The absolute worst case scenario for India is that the US shuts down its diplomatic mission in India and stops processing visas for all Indian nationals. That would really impact the economy.

If we want India to be able to dictate our position to the rest of the world and stand toe to toe with the big boys instead of inevitable acquiescence, then we have to develop India into a true export economy that can hit back at others where it hurts the most (their wallets). Until then, if you want to be taken seriously by others, you have to at a minimum respect the laws of any country you are visiting and avoid getting yourself into international disputes. If Khobragade actually treated her worker with proper dignity and respect, India would not be globally shamed as it is now. And yes, paying a worker an illegal wage is indignant and disrespectful.


Last edited by ryder1650 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:20 am; edited 2 times in total
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PNQIAD wrote:



Another interesting take on the US Attorney's motivation to make an example out of the Indian diplomat:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/khobragade-victim-of-local-ambition-113121300815_1.html

"There are speculations that the US attorney is looking for 'scalps' as a springboard to public office"


From that article:

"After taking down one state senator, two members of the assembly, a member of the council and many others in two alleged bribery plots; after going after Rajat Gupta and Raj Rajaratnam and putting him away for more than 10 years; and after pursuing the case against IMF (International Monetary Fund) chief Dominique Strauss Kahn (which was dismissed), Bharara was looking for another scalp. Now, he has one—Devyani Khobragade."


LOL! Because Bharara went after true criminals like Rajat Gupta, Rajaratnam, the disgusting Strauss Kahn, and corrupt politicians, he is now going around looking for "scalps" as if all the other people he has successfully prosecuted were innocent?? Are there people defending former golden child Rajat Gupta after he was caught on tape repeatedly breaking the law?

He is a US Attorney, not a local District Attorney. His job is to prosecute those who violate federal law (which Visa fraud is most definitely a part of).

Also buried in the Business Standard article:
Quote:
Action was apparently taken 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. In this context, the Delhi High Court had issued an-interim injunction in September to restrain Richard from instituting any actions or proceedings against Khobragade outside India on the terms or conditions of her employment.

The US Government had subsequently been requested to locate Richard and facilitate the service of an arrest warrant, issued by the Metropolitan Magistrate of the South District Court in New Delhi under sections 387, 420 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code.


So basically, because a court in India placed a gag-order on the exploited worker to not tell law enforcement in the United States about her mis-treatment, the United States should have arrested the exploited worker and deported her back to India? Unfortunately for Khobragade in this case, an Indian court has no jurisdiction over the exploited worker as long as she is in the United States. Furthermore, any extradition request placed by the Indian Embassy would require the US attorney to request before a Federal Judge an arrest warrant for the exploited worker. Good luck getting a Judge to sign off on a warrant that calls on someone being arrested so that they cannot talk about how their employer illegally brought them to the United States and is exploiting her services.
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PNQIAD
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryder1650 wrote:
PNQIAD wrote:



Another interesting take on the US Attorney's motivation to make an example out of the Indian diplomat:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/khobragade-victim-of-local-ambition-113121300815_1.html

"There are speculations that the US attorney is looking for 'scalps' as a springboard to public office"


From that article:

"After taking down one state senator, two members of the assembly, a member of the council and many others in two alleged bribery plots; after going after Rajat Gupta and Raj Rajaratnam and putting him away for more than 10 years; and after pursuing the case against IMF (International Monetary Fund) chief Dominique Strauss Kahn (which was dismissed), Bharara was looking for another scalp. Now, he has one—Devyani Khobragade."


LOL! Because Bharara went after true criminals like Rajat Gupta, Rajaratnam, the disgusting Strauss Kahn, and corrupt politicians, he is now going around looking for "scalps" as if all the other people he has successfully prosecuted were innocent?? Are there people defending former golden child Rajat Gupta after he was caught on tape repeatedly breaking the law?

He is a US Attorney, not a local District Attorney. His job is to prosecute those who violate federal law (which Visa fraud is most definitely a part of).



Not to race bait here - but has this US Attorney ever brought a case against the stereotypical Wall Street Exec (read "blue eyed and white")? Or were they all innocent? It is always easy to go after the easy targets.

I am not at all defending what the diplomat did but the decency seems lacking in his handling of the case which makes it seem he wanted to make an example out of her.
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PNQIAD wrote:


Not to race bait here - but has this US Attorney ever brought a case against the stereotypical Wall Street Exec (read "blue eyed and white")? Or were they all innocent? It is always easy to go after the easy targets.

I am not at all defending what the diplomat did but the decency seems lacking in his handling of the case which makes it seem he wanted to make an example out of her.



From a February 2012 article on Bharara: Since becoming the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Bharara has expanded the office’s work on securities fraud, busting 63 people for insider trading, convicting 56 of them, with seven trials still pending. So far Bharara has no losses in the insider trading cases

Here is a case his office is working on now: http://www.forbes.com/sites/afontevecchia/2013/11/04/preet-bharara-isnt-done-with-steve-cohen-and-sac-capital/

The Indians he prosecuted obviously get the most publicity in the Indian community. It was the one Galleon case where Rajaratnam, Rajat Gupta, Anil Kumar, etc. were all colluding.

Its convenient now to say that he goes after Indians, but the simplest solution is to stop breaking the law!
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vivekman
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys are not getting the point.

I am not saying that she didn't break the law. She has broken the law and let her be prosecuted for that. What I object to is the treatment meted out to her - strip search, handcuffs, etc. I am sure no American official, no matter how junior he/she is would be subjected to such treatment in India.

And they have a history of such episodes including the one with APJ Kalam.

If you cross a certain boundary in diplomatic relations with a particular country, don't expect courtesies from them going forward.

In that sense, I fully support what India is doing - withdrawing additional privileges and concessions given to the US diplomatic staff.

Read the details of steps being taken and what the US had done in the inset box within the article below:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Devyani-case-Strip-search-finds-Indias-spine/articleshow/27546955.cms
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of reciprocity for benefits US diplomats receive in India versus benefits Indian diplomats receive in the US; I agree those should be equal. It is ridiculous that India for so long offered privileges like priority airport parking or special liquor import license while not receiving similar benefits in the US.

Now, the strip-search act I agree was unnecessary. The US State Department will deservedly get a lot of flack for that. Sounds like the US Marshall that was booking her was on a power trip and singlehandedly started a global rift.

By the way, this was not the first case of an Indian official exploiting their domestic workers in the United States.

“in 2012, a New York judge directed an Indian diplomat to pay her former domestic worker $1.5 million in damages due to 'barbaric treatment.' … In 2011, India’s consul general in New York was charged with forced labor of his domestic helper."
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2013/12/17/devyani_khobragade_the_nanny_scandal_tearing_the_u_s_and_india_apart.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

This is the third case in 3 years. How come Indian diplomats continued to abuse their workers even after the first case? It is ridiculous and a complete indictment on the Indian mindset for the rights of domestic workers.

Also, many here believe that the US government is specifically targeting Indian officials for these types of investigations. Here is a formal US government report explaining how they've cited diplomats from several countries for these violations:
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08892.pdf
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vivekman
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So we all think the following is OK??

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Handcuffed-and-strip-searched-I-broke-down-several-times-Devyani-Khobragade/articleshow/27558481.cms

Quote:
"While I was going through it, although I must admit that I broke down many times as the indignities of repeated handcuffing, stripping and cavity searches, swabbing, in a holdup with common criminals and drug addicts were all being imposed upon me despite my incessant assertions of immunity, I got the strength to regain composure and remain dignified thinking that I must represent all of my colleagues and my country with confidence and pride," she said. TOI had reported on Tuesday that Khobragade had been strip-searched and her DNA swab taken.


So all of the above is acceptable for the crime she committed?

Cavity search? What did they expect to find there? The missing wages she had promised? Such treatment is reserved for hardened criminals and druggies, not for a person who has underpaid a domestic help!

And arguing that this is standard in the US is ridiculous. Are you also supporting all the methods used (including third degree torture) by our constables and that these methods should be used against foreign diplomats?

We have our share of ridiculous laws and practices and they have theirs. And these should be changed. Period.

By all means, detain her, charge her for the crime she has committed and revoke her diplomatic recognition, but to treat her like a druggie is simply inhuman. The punishment/treatment meted out should be comparable to the crime committed.
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you wrote your post while I was editing mine. Sorry for the confusion.

Yes cavity searching and swabbing are standard, but I agree that it was overboard and should be applied situationally.

It is definitely interesting seeing India actually responding this time. Unlike all the other cases of diplomats being stopped for various reasons. The removing of the security barriers is especially interesting. Let's see what the next response from the US will be (if any).
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update:

We've all been reading the Indian media articles about it, but the uproar has now gotten loud enough for mainstream Western media to pick it up as well. Here they are in case you are interested in reading it from a different perspective:

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/17/21941866-arrest-search-of-female-diplomat-in-nyc-despicable-and-barbaric-indian-official-says?lite

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/world/asia/outrage-in-india-over-female-diplomats-arrest-in-new-york.html

CSM article written by an Indian:
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2013/1217/Indian-diplomat-s-arrest-in-NY-sparks-anger-back-home.-But-what-about-the-nanny-video

BBC with a summary of Indian media editorials:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-25426346
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stealthpilot
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeh wrote:
She has broken the law, defrauded their immigration process by lying on the form and wronged her domestic help by paying her a third of the minimum wage.

Absolutely no question about her breaking the law. She submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her housekeeper- the issue was how it was handled.

Jeh wrote:
The context is one of several years of ill-treatment of domestic staff by our arrogant and pampered diplomats, and this is the third incident in as many years, in New York alone.

I believe this is one of the reasons for the diverging views, does this amount to cruelty (ill-treatment) or stupidity? In either case this was not the same as sexually assaulting domestic help or confining him/her to their homes or something.
This was a lady who when posted abroad wanted to take her maid along, and made an agreement with her to pay her whatever$$ to be with her family in America for a short period of time. Stupid to falsify applications but not a case of slavery as people make it out to be.

The issue was she lied on the visa form. If the maid was sponsored + paperwork taken care of officially by the Government of India the minimum wage doesn't apply if I understand it correctly.
As an example, if the Vietnamese government wants to send 3 chefs to their embassy in America for a 6 month posting they can be compensated as per what the Vietnamese government wants, not restricted by the local minimum wage. Heck the diplomats probably get paid less than $10 an hour without the perks Wink

One might argue there is a difference between those embassy staff (who are paid by the government directly) and maids/nannys of consul workers who have work visas- and you would be right. There is a difference- in their work status.
What the Indian government should have done (morons that they are) is not send ayyas/maids/nannys on these work visas (where they would legally be subject to US wage laws) and take care of their compensation OR if they cant pay for the help not send them in the first place.

This lady took her maid from India to the America (for a short stint I assume) .... and instead of paying her x rupees in India agreed to pay her 30k rupees a month there. The problem was she stupidly lied on the visa form (probably thinking she isnt the only one yada yada) .... if the GoI had a process for these postings this issue wouldn't have cropped up.


Now ... once this chest thumping simmers down the GoI needs to figure out their policy on domestic helpers abroad.
1) If diplomats/consul workers do get these perk they need to follow local laws if applying for a work visa
2) Figure out a system where these workers are deputed on short term where they don't need to apply for a 3-A visa or whatever

3) If they cant afford it .... don't lie on the form and don't let them take any nannys abroad!


Yashwant Sinha and his 'arrest gay companions' in India Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes He can keep his stupidity to himself and lock himself in his house ... forever.
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iah87
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, she broke the law. Response - arrest her in front of her children, strip and cavity search and throw her in jail with drug dealers - what idiotic nonsense. The better way would be to give notice to the embassy and to her and send an arrest warrant, this will give her an opportunity to get a lawyer. They can always revoke her visa and deport her.

India may look foolish with some of the retaliotory measures, but unless they resort to this, the US administration will not even look at this.

And if were Mr. Bharara, I would not be visiting India soon, probably never.
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ssbmat
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bigger problem here is , that while Govt of India is putting on a show of bravado wrt USA, does it treat all its own citizens fairly ?

There was an issue in Italy during the Costa Concordia disaster , when Indian survivors approached the Indian embassy in Rome, they were curtly informed that it was a "holiday" and they should enquire the next working day.
That is the level of courtesy extended by our high-handed officials to its own citizens, esp abroad .
So unless we respect our own citizens and our own laws, we will forever be subject to lack of respect and disdain by foreigners.
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ssbmat
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vivekman wrote:
So we all think the following is OK??

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Handcuffed-and-strip-searched-I-broke-down-several-times-Devyani-Khobragade/articleshow/27558481.cms

Quote:
"While I was going through it, although I must admit that I broke down many times as the indignities of repeated handcuffing, stripping and cavity searches, swabbing, in a holdup with common criminals and drug addicts were all being imposed upon me despite my incessant assertions of immunity, I got the strength to regain composure and remain dignified thinking that I must represent all of my colleagues and my country with confidence and pride," she said. TOI had reported on Tuesday that Khobragade had been strip-searched and her DNA swab taken.


So all of the above is acceptable for the crime she committed?

Cavity search? What did they expect to find there? The missing wages she had promised? Such treatment is reserved for hardened criminals and druggies, not for a person who has underpaid a domestic help!

And arguing that this is standard in the US is ridiculous. Are you also supporting all the methods used (including third degree torture) by our constables and that these methods should be used against foreign diplomats?

We have our share of ridiculous laws and practices and they have theirs. And these should be changed. Period.

By all means, detain her, charge her for the crime she has committed and revoke her diplomatic recognition, but to treat her like a druggie is simply inhuman. The punishment/treatment meted out should be comparable to the crime committed.


And since when did the US become the paragon of virtue with respect to abiding by laws and convention?
They conveniently evacuated Raymond Davis after he shot local Pakistanis.
They put pressure and managed to evacuate Warren Anderson who to this date, remains accused in the Union Carbide case.
Not to mention several other cases as being reported in the media where Americans have given diplomatic convention the go-by, simply because they saw it fit enough..
And about Human Rights, the less said the better- they brought about an entire war on innocent Iraqi civilians by drumming up some ruse about alleged WMDs.
So they can take their goddamned laws and intake procedures and stuff them up into whichever cavity they find -provided its one of their own.
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secretary Kerry called Shivshanker Menon and expressed regret over the strip search.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/18/21955906-secretary-kerry-expresses-regret-to-india-after-diplomat-strip-searched?lite

Looks like the calming is beginning.
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vivekman
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For all those who were harping on the "this is standard practice" and "this is the law of the land" bit, here's something for you....

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Search-on-Devyani-may-even-be-illegal/articleshow/27611083.cms

Quote:
NEW DELHI: The United States marshal service (USMS) may have flouted its own policy by subjecting Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade to intrusive strip and cavity searches, an examination of its rules show, lending weight to India's accusations that its actions were disproportionate and probably even illegal.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grasping at straws, very easy to argue before a court that there is a reasonable suspicion that someone accused of committing several felonies may be hiding contraband or evidence. The US Supreme Court ruled that searches are OK on pre-trial detainees. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_v._Wolfish

The search was not illegal. Was the search necessary? Probably not. It created more problems than it could have ever solved.
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Preet Bharara issued a statement regarding this case:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/December13/KhobragadeStatement.php
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Jeh
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/12/18/india-says-it-wants-to-be-a-great-power-it-didnt-act-like-one-this-week/ If we think we're justifiably angry about this, we should retaliate in a mature manner - let's withdraw our Ambassador if we're that angry - instead of removing security barricades/demanding the arrest of gay diplomats' partners/stopping liquor imports. Why seize on this indignity as an opportunity to show the world what a petty and backward country we are?

India says it wants to be a great power. It didn’t act like one this week.

The most telling reaction may have come from Narendra Modi, a prominent Indian politician who could become the next prime minister and leads a major political party. Modi, among other political figures, has refused to meet with a visiting U.S. Congressional delegation. Unlike, say, the U.S. embassy ban on imported liquor, this is the sort of step that can have non-negligible implications for the U.S.-India relationship, particularly if Modi becomes prime minister.

To be clear, strip-searching a foreign deputy consul is also very bad diplomacy. But the difference is that, barring what would be a very shocking revelation to the contrary, the strip-search was surely ordered by a local police official and not by, say, Secretary of State John Kerry. Had someone called Kerry or President Obama and asked "should we strip search this Indian deputy consul" the answer would surely have been "please don't do that." It's now on Kerry and Obama to fix the damage, yes, but the U.S. mistake here is just of a categorically different nature than an Indian leader going out of his way to deliberately cause offense for the sake of causing it.
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ssbmat
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Washington Post- please spare us the platitudes about greatness etc.

And not just Narendra Modi, but the incumbent govt of India (unless WP chooses to dismiss its status) officials like Lok Sabha Speaker, and its crown prince also refused to meet the Congressional delegation, not to mention the Home Minister. So why single out Modi ? In fact Khurshid, as per his function, met the delegation only to express India's displeasure- a rare moment where the right protocol was followed IMO.

Let Washington Post look at their own country so see how much statesmanship the US has displayed in the past. Why- as recently as a few months ago, Putin quietly stole a march over US and UK by bringing about the weapons inspection and handover from Syria. The US was all set to launch military strike- thats all these GI Joes can think about.

And then again, why is Preet Bharara so concerned all of a sudden about the alleged victim, to the extent portraying a conspiracy to harass her in Indian legal process ? What does he have to do with it anyway ? Indias courts have every right to 'process' the justice system for Indian citizens , which the domestic help is.
It is a rather curious point that the US chose to 'evacuate' the domestic help 's family to the US .. For what ? Are they beginning to act global policeman again ??
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regardless of whether this was US police high-handedness with respect to Ms. Khobragade (and we all know that US cops can be about as obnoxious as they come), the official Indian reaction has been petty and childish.

Removing barricades from outside the US Embassy in Delhi?

Does India really want to be saddled with a major crisis in the form of a terrorist strike against the US embassy?

Stupid babus acting in their typical stupid babu way. If you want to be treated like a great power, act like one. Throwing temper tantrums and acting as if having a space program while half your people don't have toilets makes you a global power center is typical of the babu-ishness that infects India.
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