NEW YORK - The case of Indian diplomat, who was arrested and strip-searched last week, has taken a new turn after court documents filed by the husband of her housekeeper claim that the servant was kept in "slavery-like conditions," Philip Richard, the husband of housekeeper Sangeeta Richard, alleged in documents that the deputy consul general Devyani Khobragade worked his wife from 6 a.m. to 11 pm every day, despite the fact that, as Richard claims, "the contract stipulated that Sunday would be an off-day," Fox News Reported
Khobragade, 39, was arrested earlier this month outside her children's school in Manhattan on charges of lying on a visa application about how much she paid Sangeeta Richard. Prosecutors say the maid received $3 per hour for her work.
The case has turned into an international incident, as Indian officials claim the consular official's treatment, which included a strip search, was heavy-handed. India's foreign minister Salman Khurshid demanded last week that the US drop federal charges against Khobragade, which US Attorney Preet Bharara refused to do.
On Wednesday Bharara, who is of Indian descent, took the unusual step of releasing a length statement defending Khobragade's treatment while under arrest and detailing the charges before her. At one point, the statement asked,
"One wonders why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse?" That treatment, according to the documents, included attempts by Uttar Khobragade, Devyani's father and a former civil servant, to hush up the complaints by sending the police to harass members of Richard's family. Richard's daughter, Jennifer, also wrote to U.S. officials to complain that Khobragade had refused to allow the housekeeper to return to India, saying "My mother used to sound unhappy whenever she talked to us on phone.She asked Devyani to send her back to India but Devyani refused her request." Meanwhile, Khobragade has been posted to India's permanent mission to United Nations in New York. In another development, the US has asked for more time to file the information related to visa and other relevant details of people that have been employed by them and their officers in India. The developments took place as the new Indian Ambassador to US, S Jaishankar, is due to be in Washington on Tuesday amid a standoff between the two countries over the arrest of high ranking Indian diplomat on charges of alleged visa fraud.