The U.S. State Department has said it is “looking into” the procedures surrounding the arrest of Ms. Khobragade after media reports emerged quoting unnamed sources saying she was “detained with sex workers and drug addicts,” and “subjected to strip and cavity searches like an ordinary criminal.”
State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf however added the U.S. considered the matter to be primarily a law enforcement issue and “not indicative of the close and mutually respectful ties” that it shares with India.
In her comments, shared with The Hindu following India’s retaliatory measures, Ms. Harf did not directly refer to the handcuffing and detention for several hours, though she reaffirmed that the U.S. and India “enjoy a broad and deep friendship,” and understood “that this is a sensitive issue for many in India.”
She said that accordingly, the U.S. government was looking into the intake procedures surrounding the arrest “to ensure that all appropriate procedures were followed and every opportunity for courtesy was extended.”
When The Hindu sought to confirm the nature of Ms. Khobragade’s treatment while in custody Daniel Arshack, the diplomat’s attorney in the case, said she had been “treated incredibly shabbily,” in what he described as a “public spectacle.”
However this week Mr. Arshack said that he did not have any comment on whether she was strip-searched or cavity-searched.
Indian officials also did not provide any further details on this matter when contacted.
On the broader visa fraud case that has been brought against Ms. Khobragade, Ms. Harf said while “standard procedures and official law enforcement channels” would drive it forward, the U.S. would “continue to work this issue with India in the spirit of partnership and cooperation that marks our broad bilateral relationship.”