Indian diplomat fears she’ll never see family again

Devyani Khobragade, 39, says she is under 'immense stress' at the thought of leaving the U.S. without her husband and two young daughters.

Saurabh Das/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Devyani Khobragade, 39, says she is under ‘immense stress’ at the thought of leaving the U.S. without her husband and two young daughters.

The Indian diplomat forced to leave the U.S. over claims she fraudulently obtained a work visa for her housekeeper and then paid her just $ 3.31 an hour fears she’ll never get to live with her family again.

Indian consulate official Devyani Khobragade, 39, has spoken out about the “immense stress” she’s suffered at having to leave behind her two young daughters — ages 7 and 4 — and her husband, Aakash Singh Rathore, a New York-born philosophy professor .

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“I wonder if I will be able to ever reunite with my family, my husband, my little kids. I miss them,” she tearfully told The Indian Express. “What if my children choose to study and work in the U.S.? What if I can never return to the U.S., which I can’t now. Does it mean we will never be able to live together as a family again?” she added.  Khobragade hit the headlines after charges were filed by a federal grand jury in Manhattan alleging she filed false documents to obtain a visa for her domestic worker and then underpaid her.

After being arrested, strip-searched and thrown in a cell with other alleged criminals on Dec. 12, she was able to end the monthlong dispute Thursday when she was granted full diplomatic immunity and allowed to leave the country.

She returned to India Friday — but without her family in tow.

It took a month to end the monthlong dispute, when Devyani Khobragade was granted diplomatic immunity — but also told to leave the U.S.

Saurabh Das/ASSOCIATED PRESS

It took a month to end the monthlong dispute, when Devyani Khobragade was granted diplomatic immunity — but also told to leave the U.S.

Khobragade told the newspaper she will continue her legal fight to clear her name and will try to have the case in New York officially dismissed in a federal court.

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“I know I am honest, and I will come out clean. But we do not know how much time it will take and for how long my family will have to suffer due to this,” she said.

“I spoke to my kids for hours last night, and they are already missing me. The 4-year-old asked me, ‘Mommy, when will you be back home,’ and I had no answer,” she added.

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Khobragade’s arrest sparked outrage in India, where the government responded by asking the U.S. to remove its diplomat from New Delhi.

Ordinary Indians were also angered and burned American flags in a series of protests.


Nation / World – NY Daily News

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