PM asks for ‘full resolution’ of Khobragade issue

New Delhi, Dec 19: As US officials held talks with their Indian counterparts to find a resolution to the diplomatic row over the strip-search of an Indian diplomat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday directed officials to ensure “full resolution” of the issue, sources said.

Manmohan Singh Wednesday termed as “deplorable” the humiliating arrest, strip and cavity search that India’s Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade was put through after her arrest for visa fraud and underpaying her house maid.

India has demanded that Khobragade be released unconditionally and all charges against her dropped.

According to sources, the prime minister was briefed about Wednesday’s call by US Secretary of State John Kerry to National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and the expression of regret over the issue.

Kerry had said the “unfortunate public issue” should not harm the close India-US ties.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has also briefed the prime minister about the developments.

US Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman Thursday called up Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh in an effort to find a resolution to the diplomatic stand-off.

The prime minister is learnt to have directed officials to ensure “full resolution” of the issue, sources said.

IANS