Indian diplomat leaves US to ease row over visa fraud

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Indian diplomat leaves US to ease row over visa fraud

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An Indian diplomat, whose arrest and strip-search caused a major rift between New Delhi and Washington, is returning home.

Devyani Khobragade was indicted on Thursday after being accused of visa fraud and lying about underpaying her nanny.

India foreign ministry only issued this statement.

“The US government requested the Government of India to waive the immunity of counsellor Khobragade. On 9th January 2014, the Government of India declined to do so and transferred counsellor Khobragade to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.”

Khobragade, who was deputy consul-general in New York was facing a grand jury hearing for visa fraud and allegedly making false statements about how much she paid her housekeeper..

Her arrest was branded a “humiliation” by Delhi and sparked protests in India, souring relations with the US but Washington says it is business as usual.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki: “We remain in dialogue with them about all the issues we typically work on together, whether that’s strategic interests or economic interests, and that remains the case.”

It is unlikely to be the end of the affair as Khobragade, is married to an American and has left her two children behind. But Washington says she risks being arrested if she tries to return.