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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Punish US diplomats with same sex companions: Yashwant Sinha

PTI  New Delhi, December 17, 2013
First Published: 20:03 IST(17/12/2013) | Last Updated: 22:02 IST(17/12/2013)

With India cutting down privileges of US diplomats following an IFS officer's arrest in New York, BJP leader Yaswant Singh on Tuesday demanded that the government take action against US personnel in India having same sex companions following the Supreme Court order against 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.

"So, why does not the Government of India go ahead and arrest them and punish them," Sinha said.

India has been upset over the arrest of deputy counsel general Devyani Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer, on a street in New York over visa fraud charges as she was dropping her daughter to school. She was later released on a $250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

Read: India hits back at US over Devyani's mistreatment

India today retaliated strongly by initiating series of steps to strip US diplomats and their families of privileges including withdrawing all airport passes and stopping import clearances for the embassy.

The diplomat's father Uttam Khobragade on Tuesday met external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and home minister Sushilkumar Shinde seeking their help in getting justice for her.

Khurshid asserted that the government has taken "very seriously" Khobragade's arrest by the US and that it has "put in motion" the process to deal with the issue in an "effective way".

"He told me everything about the incident. Immediately, I have spoken to the concerned people for action. She will get justice," Shinde told reporters after the meeting.

ReadRahul, Modi, Shinde refuse to meet US delegation

Read: India asks US diplomats to return IDs

Earlier, foreign secretary Sujatha Singh had summoned US ambassador Nancy Powell and issued a demarche in this regard.

Significantly, the Association of Indian Foreign Service Officers, under the presidentship of the foreign secretary, was meeting to discuss the issue.


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