The domestic worker at the center of the Indian diplomat dispute has issued a statement for the first time since the arrest of Devyani Khobragade, reports the Bangkok Post.
“I would like to tell other domestic workers who are suffering as I did –- you have rights and do not let anyone exploit you,” Sangeeta Richards said in a statement released by anti-human trafficking group Safe Horizon.
“When I decided to come to the United States, my hope was to work for a few years to support my family and then return to India. I never thought that things would get so bad here, that I would work so much that I did not have time to sleep or eat or have time to myself. Because of this treatment, I requested that I return to India but that request was denied,” Richards Statement read.
The statement was released a day after the US proceeded with an indictment against Khobragade on visa fraud charges and making false statements about the wages she would pay Richards, while at the same time allowing her to leave the country without facing charges.
Several media reports said she boarded a plane last night for India while her family for now remains in the United States.
Khobragade who is married to an American and whose child is an American citizen could still face charges if she returns to the United States.
The case has raised tensions between India and the United States that shows no sign of easing at the moment.
“We are proud Indians. We may be a poor country but we don’t compromise the sovereignty of the country,” Khobragade’s defiant father, Uttam, told a press conference on Friday.
Meanwhile, India has asked the United States to withdraw an American embassy official from India, in an apparent retaliatory move.
You can read more about reaction to the indictment in the Bangkok Post.