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India withdraws ID cards given to US consular officials
Publication Date : 25-12-2013
India today acted tough and went ahead with its decision to withdraw all identity cards provided to US consular officials posted in the Capital as the deadline expired. India’s actions come as a measure of ‘reciprocity’ after Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was arrested in New York recently over charges of visa fraud.
Khobragade was handcuffed and later subjected to a strip-search which India has termed as ‘unacceptable’ behaviour.
To make clear its displeasure, India today withdrew all ID cards provided to US Consular officials and according to sources, “new cards which are exact replicas of cards provided to Indian consulate officials in the US are being given in lieu of the withdrawn cards”. Also, this time around, cards will be issued only to consular officials and not to their family members. This again, according to sources, is in keeping with the spirit of ‘reciprocity’ since the US does not issue ID cards to family members of Indian consulate officials posted in the US.
Government sources were also dismissive of the concerns expressed regarding changes in the security arrangement of the US diplomats in India. It was maintained that “India takes its obligations under the Vienna Convention very seriously and there has not been any loosening of security. There is no change in the security situation and all US Mission officials are being provided securit”.