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Diplomat at centre of India-US row arrives in Delhi

Published on Jan 11, 2014 1:25 AM
 
Photo of India's Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade attending a Rutgers University event at India's Consulate General in New York last year. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - An Indian diplomat at the centre of a bitter row with the United States arrived back in New Delhi on Friday after the two countries struck a deal in which she was granted full diplomatic immunity.

Dr Devyani Khobragade – who left the US after being charged with visa fraud and making false statements relating to the employment of her domestic servant – arrived at Indira Gandhi international airport at around 10.30 pm.

Her father confirmed to waiting porters. “We are very relaxed and happy that she is back home. We are filled with joy,” Mr Uttam Khobragade said. 

He added that Devyani, 39, had gone straight from the airport to a government apartment in the city. Her arrival came hours after the Indian government had asked the US to withdraw a New Delhi embassy diplomat in a fresh escalation of the diplomatic row, just as it had appeared to be cooling down. 

India reacted with outrage after Khobragade was arrested in front of her children’s school and then allegedly subjected to a cavity search while in custody, with the Indian government describing her treatment as a national humiliation.