India's demand for dropping of all charges against its former Deputy Consular General in New York Devyani Khobragade will come for discussion during the proposed Indo-US dialogue to resolve the issues arising out of her arrest in the US, the government said on Thursday.
"India and the US have agreed to initiate a dialogue to resolve the issues arising out of the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York in December 2013, including India's demand for the dropping of all charges against the diplomat, and to address all aspects related to diplomatic privileges and immunities in each other's countries in a mutually acceptable manner," Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said in the Rajya Sabha.
A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragde was arrested on charges of visa fraud and subsequently stripped-searched. She was later released on a bail of USD 250,000.
Replying to a written question, Ahamed also said while India has serious concerns about the arrest and treatment of its diplomat, it also recognises that India and the US have a multi-faceted strategic partnership.
The two countries do not see this as a "single issue" relationship and continue to implement other programmes of bilateral cooperation, he said.
Replying to another question, he said MEA has received a complaint from one Aparna Srivastava alleging forced termination of employment from her post as Political Specialist at the US Embassy in New Delhi in October 2012.
"In accordance with existing international laws and practices, Ministry of External Affairs has asked the US embassy in New Delhi to undertake an urgent investigation into the allegations made by Srivastava," Ahamed said.
Srivastava has alleged that she was victimised by the US embassy for her independent views on the reporting of the human rights situation in India.
Image: Devyani Khobragade
hotograph: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com