NEW DELHI (AP):
The arrest and strip-search of an Indian diplomat in New York City escalated into a major diplomatic furor yesterday as India's national security adviser called the woman's treatment "despicable and barbaric".
Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, is accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her Manhattan housekeeper. Indian officials said she was arrested and handcuffed last Thursday as she dropped off her daughter at school, and kept in a cell with drug addicts before posting $250,000 bail.
A senior Indian official told The Associated Press that she was also strip-searched, which has been portrayed in India as the most offensive and troubling part of the arrest. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
India was preparing to retaliate against American diplomats in India by threatening to downgrade privileges and demanding information about how much they pay their Indian household staff, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.
Indian workers also removed the traffic barricades near the United States Embassy in New Delhi that had been erected as a safety measure. PTI said the removal was a demand by the Indian government in retaliation for Khobragade's treatment.