Politics

Advocacy group launches online petition to drop charges against Devyani Khobragade

‘Support India’ plans to get 100,000 signatures by January 17th.

By Deepak Chitnis

Dr. Devyani Khobragade
Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of India, New York.

WASHINGTON, DC: An Indian American advocacy group has created an online petition, launched last week, with the goal of pressuring the US government to drop all its charges against India’s Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade.

The petition was launched by an organization called “Support India,” which posted the petition on the official White House website.

Support India is a solidarity movement aimed at bringing together all Indians throughout the world to combat injustices levied upon the community, it says in a release. The organization is looking to reach a goal of 100,000 signatures by January 17, 2014, in order to get the charges against Khobragade completely dropped. In the five days since the petition went live, it has gotten just over 400 signatures.

The text of the petition reads as follows:

“We protest the manner of detention of the Indian Deputy Consul General Dr. Devyani Khobragade on the 12 December 2013 in New York. There is perceptible animus in the manner in which the arrest was handled. Dr. Khobragade was arrested as she came out of her daughter’s school, handcuffed, strip-searched, body cavity searched, swabbed and kept in a lock up in spite of her assertions of immunity. She is one of the faces of Indian government for the Indian community in the United States. Her public humiliation injures the sentiments of the Indian American community. Such incidents are bound to strain the Indo-US relations. We request that given the trauma and public humiliation that Dr. Khobragade has egregiously suffered, the criminal case against her should be dropped immediately.”

In an email sent out to followers, the organization warns that “What happened to Devyani can happen to you tomorrow! Without trial you could be arrested… Without knowing the truth, you could be humiliated, handcuffed, strip searched, cavity searched, DNA swabbed, [and] kept with drug addicts.”

The email also clarifies that the petition is not just for NRIs in America, but persons of Indian origin all over the world. As it says, “We are a big population and 100,000 should not be a difficult task.”

Those wishing to sign the petition can do so here. Keep in mind that in order to sign it, you must have a registered account with WhiteHouse.gov.

To contact the author, email to deepakchitnis@americanbazaaronline.com

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