q u o t e

Monday, December 30, 2013

Will the fog in the India-US skyway last the whole winter ?

Even in the thick  winter  fog over New Delhi and  probably  New York   on the new year eve , a few things stand out  clear and shining in the Devayani  humiliation issue:
1.       *  The US believed that Sangeetha , the domestic help of Devayani  is a victim of human trafficking .
2.      *   The US considered Indian legal system as untrustworthy .

India  and the US are democratic countries where it is free to hold different opinions and beliefs. And India is in no position to  influence  the thinking of the world’s most powerful country  ( as referred to  in a leading US  newspaper edit on the Devayani humiliation issue ).  So the US  has every right to hold on to its beliefs.

But when it came to direct action, even a country like India could not remain unresponsive. And that is what happened in the Devayani humiliation case. When Devayani was arrested in a humiliating manner, India could not accept the ‘standard procedure’ argument  which left many intriguing questions unanswered , and keep quiet.

When it came to light that the husband and children of Sangeetha  were  flown to the US two days  prior to the arrest of  Devayani  and when the Manhatten  attorney explained that the ‘evacuation’ was aimed at protecting them from legal action  in India, India  had to come to terms with the fact that it was the govt of India and not Devayani who is humiliated, in view of the following: 

1.     **  That the US considered Sangeetha as a human trafficking victim knowing   fully  well that Sangeetha is an Indian citizen who travelled to the US on an Indian passport to serve an Indian diplomat there,  leading to the  inescapable inference  that the US considered govt of India to be responsible for  the alleged human trafficking.

2.      **  That the US thought it fit to ‘evacuate’  persons  against  whom  proceedings were pending in a court in India ;  that a person of the status of  Manhatten attorney had been vested with the power  to act to  thwart the legal proceedings  of a high court in India and that he had been given the privilege  to justify the act in a public statement.

Now that  the  psyche of  India is severely wounded , the US has two clear options for future course of action  based on whether the US acted
                 due to a wrong reading of the facts                                         
               deliberately to punish India for its recent  defiance in policy matters.

In case it is the latter,  the US can continue  with the  legal action against Devayani , rebuke India for its demand for apology  and retaliate against the cancellation of certain privileges enjoyed by  the US diplomats in   India. This will send a strong message to the other countries  who will be reminded forcefully that might alone is right at least in international politics. 

In case it is due to the wrong reading of facts, the US can  redeem the situation thru the following steps
1.      1.   Drop the case against  Devayani.
2.      2,   Send  Sangeetha and her family back to India
3.      3.   Punish the officials who erred 

This will go a long way in promoting better  relations  on lasting terms with India and a host of other countries who fall in the same category.  And bring bright sunshine back to the calm winter skies over New Delhi and New York  .

In fact the US can go a step further  and apologise to India for trying to interfere with the Indian legal system and compensate Devayani  for   the humiliation which should have been avoided.  But these things fall in the category  of wishful  thinking , not worth pursuing.  Yet  they cannot be ruled out. Who knows what  the summer months or  the  falls  portend.

Friday, December 27, 2013

india refutes manhattan attorney's claims

'Devyani Khobragade is the only victim': full text of India's rebuttal to Preet Bharara

'Devyani Khobragade is the only victim': full text of India's rebuttal to Preet Bharara
New Delhi Responding strongly to Preet Bharara, the US federal prosecutor whose decision to charge highly ranked diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York last week created a storm in India, the government today said that the 39-year-old diplomat is the only victim in this case.

Following is the full text of External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin's statement:

We have seen the statement issued by the Manhattan US Attorney on December 18.

We need to keep in mind the simple fact that there is only one victim in this case. That victim is Devyani Khobragade - a serving Indian Diplomat on mission in the United States.

The action taken against her was not in keeping with the Vienna Convention. There were no courtesies in the treatment that was meted out to the diplomat, under the normal definition of that word in the English language.

The statement includes remarks about equality before the law of both the rich and the poor. Not only is this a rhetorical remark that is not conducive to resolving "inaccuracies", it is also not a feature of the law that is exclusive to the office of the Manhattan US Attorney.

The statement in question acknowledges that legal processes were in place in India. Yet, incredibly, it invites speculation about why it was necessary to evacuate the family of Ms Richards and about the action purportedly being taken against them. The implication of this remarkable admission needs to be considered very carefully with regard to the implicit comment it makes about the Indian legal system, Indian law enforcement authorities, and the responsibility that legal officials of a foreign government seem to arrogate upon themselves with regard to the nationals of another country. It needs to be asked what right a foreign government has to "evacuate" Indian citizens from India while cases are pending against them in the Indian legal system.

The statement underlines the compulsion that is felt by the Manhattan US Attorney's office "to make sure that victims, witnesses and their families are safe and secure while cases are pending."

This is precisely why, when there is a prior legal process already underway in India, the Manhattan US Attorney should consider it obligatory to enable justice to take its course in India in the first instance. When the legal process in another friendly and democratic country is interfered with in this manner, it not only amounts to interference but also raises the serious concern of calling into question the very legal system of that country.

This statement is one more attempt at a post facto rationalization for an action that should never have taken place in the first instance."

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Story First Published: December 19, 2013 19:21 IST
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

india badly needs a 'standard procedure'

standard procedure

'standard procedure' has become such a powerful word
in the last few weeks. everyone in america used it
so many times and india had no reply. we should also
put in place a standard procedure and follow it up,
taking lessons from  america. here are a few

1. India should put in place a standard procedure for intake and
   keepin  with the following compulsory steps

   i. repeated handcuffing (compulsory )
   handcuffing may not be done immediately. also they may be
   taken off  for making calls to request someone to pick up the
   little kids from  school and take them somewhere, but  should
   be put back immediately.  the time and occasion when the
   handcuffs were removed should be recorded   so that it can be
   explained later that the victim was not handcuffed
   immediately or all the time .

   ii. strip search (compulsory)
   simultaneous and all direction cavity search is to be done. but
   some cavities (preferably the nostrils or the ear lobes ) should be
   excluded so that it can be explained later that no cavity search
   was done and that it was only a strip search.

   iii. drug addicts and sex workers (not compulsory )
   if the victim is lodged with the above categories, then it should
   be ensured that they are indian citizens so that it can be explained
   later that the victim was lodged along with indian citizens.

2. India should strengthen its law enforcing mechanism.
    there are a dozen indian rules a diplomat breaks on any given day.
    india should write to the embassies about these violations, ignore
    their reply and arrest the diplomat for violation of federal rules.
    the diplomat need not be pulled out of the car immediately if it is
    very cold outside. she may also be offered coffee ( which she will
    naturally refuse in anticipation of the forthcoming favourites like
    strip search )

3. India should be more proactive on human rights violations.
   india should collect details of wages paid by relatives and
   associates  of all diplomats stationed in india. this should include
   the wages   paid in their own countries too. india should look for
   complaints  arising anywhere in the world and put in place a
   mechanism to airlift husband and children of the victim especially
   if there are court proceedings against them in their own countries.

4. Indian government should learn to manage their media better.
   leading newspapers should be asked to write edits defending the
   government action. they should be guided to refer to developments
   ( like aam aadmi's success in indian election ) in the affected
   country and hope that they will evolve further to accept our
   line of thinking ,if nothing solid can be said in defense of the govt.

Friday, December 20, 2013

attempt to humiliate the govt of india ?

devayani issue probably is a deliberate attempt to humiliate
the government of india . see the chronology of events.
    ( more details in the article below. )

September 4:  US state department writes to Indian ambassador saying it is concerned about Richards' situation.

September 21:  Indian embassy tells US authorities not to interfere in Richards's matter, as according to it, she is attempting a monetary settlement and a US visa - which contravene laws in both the countries.

November 19:  Delhi court issues arrest warrant against Richards.
December 6:  The warrant is sent to US authorities to get the arrest implemented, but it is ignored.

December 10:  Nanny's husband Philip travels to the US along their two children facilitated by a special US visa.
December 12:  Khobragade arrested in New York. Bail posted at $250,000, The diplomat's passport is seized, and she is told not to leave the US.

Manhattan Attorney Preet Bharara's reported statement that Sangeeta Richard's husband was flown out of the country as a legal process was started in India against the victim to silence her.

Read more

understand the reciprocity

The US Embassy in New Delhi had been issued with 11 special diplomatic cards that entitled them to special privileges at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
Four cards were permanent, including the ambassador and the deputy chief of the mission, while seven cards were transferable, to be used by US embassy staff.
These entitled them to receive special privileges such as parking, jumping the queue at immigration counters and access to VIP lounges. 

Persons working at the American School, American Centre, and a number of other places  have diplomatic identity cards as a courtesy. 

Indian consular staff have no such privileges in the US. This was a unilateral courtesy extended to US diplomats.

In the US, identity cards issued to diplomats and consular officers clearly specify the level of immunity the cardholder enjoys. In select cases, it clearly says no immunity from arrest.
 US  deny Indian embassy in Washington, DC reserved parking space.


Washington argues that she does not have immunity from arrest.
 Raymond Davis  was arrested for the murder of two Pakistanis in Lahore in 2011. The US State Department had said Raymond cannot be arrested as he was working with the American Consulate.
As it was later revealed, he was not even a consular employee but a contractor employed by the CIA! It is strange that Americans then argued that he had immunity while now asserting that the Indian Deputy Consul General does not have such immunity..

strange run up to the pre planned humiliation

"Sangeeta's family was deliberately flown out of the country a few days before the arrest of Devyani......

Bharara's statement that Sangeeta Richard's husband was flown out of the country as a legal process was started in India against the victim to silence her. he is doubting the credibility of Indian judicial system.....

Sangeeta had stated in the form that it was her employer's salary.
Even if there was a discrepancy, then it was due to Sangeeta's own error and not Devyani's......"

Read more

Thursday, December 19, 2013

design behind the humiliation

it is probably a message to embolden the moles that they and their
family will be protected even against court orders and govt action.
and a warning to anyone who dares to cross their path. a very
powerful message. and a very weak response in the given context.

read excerpts below and the complete article in the link at the bottom

That there is a larger conspiracy behind the episode is evident from the fact that on December 10, two days before the diplomat’s arrest (December 12), Sangeeta Richards’s husband, Philip, and two children quietly flew to America by an Air India flight. Somebody in Washington had helped them procure visas, a highly unusual development, since the Indian Government had revoked Sangeeta Richards’s official passport in July and asked for her to be deported to India. Usually such a dramatic evacuation is done only to protect US spies.......

Philip was granted a T-visa, which allows victims of human trafficking and immediate family members to remain and work temporarily in the United States if they agree to assist law enforcement in testifying against the perpetrators......

 The Indian Government revoked Richards’s official passport, which made her status illegal in the US, and asked the State Department to locate and send her back to India. The request was repeated in September; the same month, the Delhi High Court issued an interim injunction restraining Richards from instituting any action or proceeding against Khobragade outside India regarding her employment and to settle all disputes in India as both women worked for the Government of India. The Indian mission informed the US authorities that as the maid was seeking a US visa, she was violating laws in both countries. On November 21, the Saket district court issued a non-bailable warrant for Sangeeta Richards, and India asked the US to help serve the warrant and repatriate the maid.....

 The initial Indian reaction to the arrest – snub to a visiting Congress delegation; revocation of diplomatic IDs to US consul staff and their families; withdrawal of airport passes and import clearances; removal of security barricades around the American Embassy on Shanti Path; and demand for information about wages paid to Indians employed by the US mission and by individual diplomats in India – is inadequate given the enormity of the provocation.....

 Worse, the US marshal service seems to have flouted its own rules by subjecting the diplomat to intrusive strip and cavity searches, when these can be done only if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person arrested is carrying contraband or weapons, is a repeat offender or is considered a security, escape or suicide risk. None of these conditions apply to Devyani Khobragade.....

 The Government of India, backed as it is by the entire nation, must respond in a more muscular fashion, commensurate to the offence in which the US Government has knowingly helped Sangeeta Richards commit an immigration fraud and evade Indian justice. In these circumstances, Secretary of State John Kerry’s telephonic apology to National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon is a meaningless diplomatic nicety......

well planned insult

As more details emerged questions were raised over the US government's role in the whole matter. According to Indian officials the immigration fraud was carried out by Sangeeta Richards and not Devyani. Richards's husband and two children flew out of India on Air India 101 to New York on December 10 after they had got visas from US authorities and the entire thing was planned by US Department of Justice two days before Devyani was arrested.
In June 2013, Indian government had complained to the US over Richards disappearance. In September 2013, the MEA had helped Devyani in filing a case in the High Court and get injunction, warrant against Sangeeta.
But the visas were issued despite India's warning to the US about a warrant and court injunction against Richards's husband.

 read more

repeated handcuffing, stripping, cavity searches, swabbing...

FULL text: Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade's letter to her colleagues

 My dear colleagues - senior and junior, 

I am so grateful for all the outpouring of unequivocal support and backing that has been available to me from the fraternity. I take comfort in the confidence that this invaluable support will also be translated into strong and swift action, to ensure the safety of me and my children, as also to preserve the dignity of our service which is unquestionably under siege.
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, hold up 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.
I feel I can continue to do so thanks to this strong and prolific support. I cannot say more now but will later, I did feel the deep need to thank you all so much.

Devyani Khobragade.

know what  cavity search   is  ?

Visual body cavity search involves checking of body cavities like nostrils, ears, mouth, penis, vagina and rectum with the help of a flashlight. The person undergoing this search needs to regulate the body parts for a proper examination.

 then there is the  more barbaric manual cavity search . to know more