Taking strong objection to the disciplinary action taken against his diplomat daughter, Devyani Khobragade, bureaucrat-turned-politician Uttam Khobragade has alleged that the development could be an attempt to harass her.
“She has not done anything that violates the service rules. I don’t see any reason behind the action against her unless someone wants to harass or demoralise her,” Khobragade told HT on Saturday.
The ministry of external affairs (MEA) has stripped Devyani of duties as director in the ministry’s development partnership division and put her on compulsory wait after she made some statements to the media.
Uttam Khobragade, who joined the Republican Party of India (Athwale) as its national executive president recently, is likely to explore political channels to get his daughter justice. His party president and Rajya Sabha MP Ramdas Athwale said that he would take up the case with MEA minister Sushma Swaraj, and if need be, with PM Narendra Modi. RPI (A) is BJP's pre-poll ally in the state.
The former Maharashtra bureaucrat said Devyani will appeal against the MEA’s decision. “We have not read the order yet. Once we receive it from the authorities, we will study it and appeal against it if possible,” he said.
Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of the MEA, said in New Delhi that the action taken against Devyani was related to an ongoing inquiry against her in a vigilance case. In December last year, Devyani was arrested and strip-searched in New York on charges of ill-treating her domestic help. After a prolonged diplomatic tussle she was able to return to India. The US has not dropped charges against her yet.