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Speaker, NSA refuse to meet US Congressional team

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New Delhi, Dec 16 :

In a snub, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon Monday cancelled their meeting with a US Congressional delegation to protest the arrest and handcuffing of an Indian diplomat in New York last week.

“The speaker has declined to meet the US delegation, comprising Republican and Democrat members, as a sign of displeasure over the treatment meted out to India’s deputy consul general in New York,” a source told IANS.Meira Kumar, Speaker, Lok Sabha

The NSA too cancelled his meeting with the US delegation over the arrest and handcuffing of Devyani Khobragade who was charged last week with visa fraud and making false statements.

Khobragade, one of India’s senior diplomats in New York, was accused by Manhattan’s Indian American US Attorney Preet Bharara of visa fraud and exploiting her babysitter and housekeeper. She was handcuffed in public by law enforcement authorities in New York Thursday while she was dropping her daughter at school.

India has termed the treatment meted out to the envoy as “absolutely unacceptable”.

US Ambassador Nancy Powell was summoned to South Block by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh on Dec 13 and a strong protest lodged over the treatment. (IANS)