Amid outrage over the treatment meted out to Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday said an apology by the U.S. “for the sake of formality” would not help and it should accept its mistake in “unambiguous terms”.

“A regret for the sake of formality is not enough. They should apologise in unambiguous terms and accept their mistake,” he told reporters.

Mr. Nath said all countries should draw a lesson from the incident and “raise their voice” whenever such a thing takes place.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Wednesday described as “deplorable” the way the diplomat was treated in the U.S.

There is a strong demand that Ms. Khobragade be released unconditionally and all the charges against her dropped.

The government has taken a strong view of the diplomat’s ill-treatment and announced a series of steps to strip US diplomats and their families of privileges, including withdrawing all airport passes and stopping import clearances for the Embassy, including for liquor.

The 39-year-old Ms. Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer, was taken into custody last week on a street in New York as she was dropping her daughter to school and handcuffed in public on visa fraud charges before being released on a $250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

She has been transferred to the Indian Mission to the UN to give her fuller diplomatic immunity.

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