HomeCommunity IssuesCharges & countercharges fly in arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade

Charges & countercharges fly in arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade

Devyani KhobragadeNew information is coming out from both sides of the controversy following the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade (pictured) in New York on charges of paying her maid well below the US minimum wage and lying on her maid’s visa application.

The Asian Correspondent reports on details that seem to support charges of the abusive treatment received by the maid Sangeeta Richard and her family.

The same day India Today reported on new documents which have surfaced which counter claims that maid Richard was underpaid and mistreated.

The documents show that Richard received a monthly salary of more than $1374 and that some of that was deducted from her pay check and sent directly to her family back in India. Other money was debited for expenses she incurred such as for cable television and electricity.

Indian officials hope to use the documentation to get the United States to drop the charges.

A story, however, in the Asian Correspondent paints a much different picture. As far back as July, Richard’s husband Philip petitioned the New Delhi High Court and described his wife as being kept in “slavery-like conditions or keeping a person in bondage.”

He said his wife worked  7 days a week and that the family was threatened with “dire consequences” if she complained.

In a statement Richard’s daughter stated that five policeman actually came to their house in India.

“From that day onwards,” she wrote, “police has started calling my father, my brother and me as well… He said to my father that he would destroy our future and not let my father continue with his job anymore.

”We no more feel safe in our own house because of the phone calls we are getting and the words that Uttam Khobragade (Devyani’s father) has said to my father. We really need your help to get out of all this trouble. It is like a mental torture on my family. PLEASE HELP US.”

The family has since been evacuated from India by the US and Sangeeta Richard has been allowed to stay in the United States because she is allegedly a victim of human trafficking.


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