NYPD official was held in Delhi as his baggage had live ammunition
The Indian Consulate in New York “dismissed as ridiculous” the notion that there was any connection between the detention of a New York Police Department official in New Delhi and the December 12, 2013 arrest of Devyani Khobragade, former Deputy Consul General, in New York.
In a statement forwarded by the Indian Embassy, a consulate spokesperson said, “The NYPD official was detained after his baggage was found to contain a few rounds of live ammunition when the bags were screened in New Delhi airport, prior to him taking a domestic flight. In India, this is a violation of the Arms Act.”
The spokesperson added that the official was released on bail “immediately” and was currently in India “awaiting a court date to resolve the case.”
Meanwhile, the State Department declined to comment on specifics of the case although it appeared to be aware of the incident.
In a press briefing, spokesperson Marie Harf said, “We are aware of the reports… that a U.S. citizen has been arrested. We, because of privacy considerations, don’t have further comment. Obviously, we provide consular service to any American citizen overseas.”
When pressed on whether the U.S. expected any retaliatory action for the way Ms. Khobragade was treated in a U.S. prison, Ms. Harf responded, “We’ve said we want to get past some of the tensions that have been there over the past several months and move on… India is a very close partner.”
The arrest of Ms. Khobragade sparked off a months-long diplomatic crisis between New Delhi and Washington, with India taking retaliatory measures against U.S. diplomatic interests there and U.S. Justice Department seeking a re-indictment of the diplomat after a U.S. judge ruled against her first indictment.
Matters appeared to cool down only in January, after Ms. Khobragade was granted full diplomatic immunity upon her transfer from the New York consulate to India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations was authorised by the State Department.
The case against Ms. Khobragade stemmed from allegations of visa fraud and underpayment of salary to her domestic employee, Sangeeta Richard, who has apparently been given the right to reside in the U.S.