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INDIA REMOVES CONCRETE BARRIERS MEAN TO PROTECT U.S. EMBASSY?

The arrest and strip-search of India's deputy consul general in New York triggered an escalating diplomat dispute on Tuesday, as Indian politicians boycotted a visit by US congressmen and Delhi threatened to remove privileges for US diplomats. 
Devyani Khobragade was released on bail two hours after being arrested last week for visa fraud and making false statements on an application for her Indian housekeeper to live and work in New York. 
Prosecutors in New York say Khobragade, 39, claimed she would pay her maid $4,500 (£2,800) a month when applying for a visa at the US embassy in Delhi – but actually paid her $573 (£350) a month, or $3.31 – less than the US minimum wage. 
But her public arrest and subsequent treatment as "a common criminal" has prompted outrage at home.
India's national security adviser called the treatment of Khobragade on Tuesday "despicable and barbaric". 
Nancy Powell, US ambassador to Delhi, was summoned by the Indian foreign secretary, Sujatha Singh, last week and on Tuesday officials said that US diplomats would be asked to reveal full details of how much they paid their own domestic staff in India to ensure compliance with local laws.
Earlier on Tuesday bulldozers removed security barriers outside the US embassy in Delhi – the most visible evidence of the anger 
in the country sparked by the incident last week.
Indian government officials told the Guardian that they were "hurt and shocked". "No Indian diplomat has been treated this way for decades. 
The U.S. is our friend and strategic ally and you can't just treat a friendly country's representatives like this. This is major, major ill treatment and is totally inexplicable," one said. 

Source: Agency

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