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Sangeeta Richards could be CIA agent: Devyani's father

Last updated on: December 21, 2013 18:39 IST

Uttam Khobragade, former IAS officer and father of Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, on Satyurday alleged her daughter's former maid Sangeeta Richards could be a "CIA agent".

He said her daughter had been made a "scapegoat" and the possibility of a conspiracy behind the visa fraud allegations against her could not be ruled out.

Stating that the family would get justice only after the "false charges" against Devyani were dropped, he said Sangeeta Richards could be a "CIA agent".

US authorities had last week arrested Devyani on the charge of providing false information in her maid's visa application, causing a major row between the two countries. She was later released on a bond.

"Going by the developments that have taken place over the last one year, the government of India feels that it appears to be a conspiracy," Khobragade said at a press conference with Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athawale.

"Also from the given circumstances, we suspect that Sangeeta Richards is an agent of the CIA," Khobragade said.

“We were made scapegoat in the whole case. Devyani is a brave woman and she has been performing all her duties regularly."

Athawale said the case was bogus and the maid could be "CIA agent". "Government should probe this angle," he said.

Athwale said, "I appeal to all my party workers that till the charges framed against Devyani are not dropped, they should continue the agitation."

A delegation led by Uttam Khobragade would soon meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Athawale said.

"We will ask them to put pressure on the US government to drop the charges against Devyani. We are also contemplating to meet US President Barack Obama in this regard.

"We have sent an e-mail to President Obama a day ago. We have not yet received a reply from him," he added.

"If the US is adamant on not dropping charges against Devyani, then we will request the President and the Prime Minister to severe ties with that country," the former Lok Sabha MP said.

Image: Uttam Khobragade with Ramdas Athawale during a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday

Photograph: Sahil Salvi

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