Indian diplomat in US charged with visa fraud

Indian embassy in Washington (file picture) The Indian embassy in Washington has conveyed its strong concern over the incident to the US government

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An Indian diplomat in the US has been charged with visa fraud and making false statements over allegedly underpaying an Indian housekeeper.

Devyani Khobragade, 39, was arrested on Thursday in New York and later freed on a $250,000 (£153,000) bond.

Ms Khobragade, deputy consul general in New York, has pleaded not guilty.

The Indian government said it was "shocked and appalled at the manner" in which the diplomat had been "humiliated" in the US.

"India is forcefully taking up with the US the treatment of the diplomat. It is completely unacceptable," ministry of external affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters in Delhi on Friday.

Earlier, the Indian embassy in Washington said it had "conveyed its strong concern" to the US government over the action against Ms Khobragade.

"The US side have been urged to resolve the matter with due sensitivity, taking into account... the diplomatic status of the officer concerned," an embassy statement said.

Media reports in India said Ms Khobragade was arrested while she was dropping her daughter at school.

Law enforcement authorities in New York say Ms Khobragade "allegedly caused a materially false and fraudulent document to be presented, and materially false and fraudulent statements to be made, to the US department of state in support of a visa application for an Indian national employed as a babysitter and housekeeper at her home in New York".

If found guilty, Ms Khobragade faces a maximum sentence of 10 years for visa fraud and five years for making false statements.

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