The arrest of India’s Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade at New York has led to a slew of conspiracy theories. In fact even Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid has gone on record saying that the whole thing is a conspiracy.
Many theories have holes in them and remain largely unsubstantiated, but the truth could come in the future.
A look at some of them …
1. Devyani is a Congress stooge: Some are saying that Devyani’s father has political links with the Congress and Devyani herself has been getting favours from the party for most of her life. Rules were bent for Devyani in the IFS and she even got the foreign language she chose despite having a low rank.
She has a flat in Mumbai’s Adarsh Housing Society and may have been called as a witness and to evade that she was given a US posting. Her father was to have got a Rajya Sabha ticket from the Congress.
The Congress doesn’t care for international diplomacy but is merely protecting one of their own. That’s why Khurshid, who generally takes a soft stand on such issues, declared grandly that he wouldn’t return to Parliament till Devyani got justice.
She has also been transferred to the United Nations to give her extra immunity.2. The US did it to make her an example:
The Americans are tired of issues like visa fraud and violation of labour norms and wanted to make an example out of Devyani. That’s why the maid Sangeeta Richard was “evacuated” from India just two days before the arrest.
Sangeeta had in fact been declared missing from June this year. In July, someone claiming to be her lawyer had called Devyani with a set of demands. Devyani contacted the New York Police Department calling it a case of extortion.
The New York police was also informed of the loss of cash, important documents, a phone and two SIM cards, but they seemed not to bother.
Sangeeta’s husband also accused that his wife was in police custody in New York but later withdrew a petition to that effect.
Furthermore the decision was taken when senior Indian diplomatic officials were present in the US, so that they would get the message.3. The US did it as an act of revenge:
The US is fuming at India for a couple of things and hence they took revenge on Devyani. For one, an Indian official initially did not give a visa to the spouse of a gay US diplomat.
In October, an AdvanFort ship crew was arrested in Tuticorin for illegally transporting weapons in Indian waters. AdvanFort is a security firm in America and the hence there was a great deal of anger there and the feeling was that India should be taught a lesson.4. The maid is actually a CIA spy:
This has been alleged because Sangeeta has been given extra special treatment by the US and was evacuated by them. Further a report emerged that her in-laws were housed in the premises of a US diplomat.
She was given a visa even though there was an FIR registered against her, something that the US rarely does. Devyani had filed a case against Sangeeta and her husband over forgery case. She was also declared missing by Indian authorities and her passport revoked but she was traced quite easily by the US.
Interestingly it is claimed that there was an arrest warrant against Sangeeta, but Devyani was arrested instead!
You can read a story on Sify here: Was Devyani’s maid an American Spy? 5. Preet Bharara has political ambitions:
US attorney Bharara, who has come on the cover of Time magazine, has great political ambitions and Devyani’s arrest is nothing but one step in his political mastermind plan to rise to the top.6. It all in fact relates to Sonia Gandhi’s case:
A New York Federal court has issued a summons to the Congress President over “shielding and protecting” Congress leaders who were supposed to have been involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
All this cat and mouse diplomatic chess game actually relates to that and India is trying its best to make that summons go away. In fact Sonia has been given till January 2 to reply next year and this whole incident comes quite close to that. Devyani’s next hearing is incidentally January 13.
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger.