An Indian diplomat at the center of recent tensions between the United States and India has flown back to her home country, officials said Friday.
Then-Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade was strip-searched in New York City after she was arrested on Dec. 12. when the U.S. Marshals Service picked her up over charges of visa fraud.
The incident infuriated Indian diplomats, and the country has taken a handful of retaliatory steps including removing security barriers from around the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and rolling back diplomatic privileges for U.S. officials in India.
Khobragade — who was granted the full privileges and immunities of a diplomat earlier this week — was indicted for visa fraud Thursday. The United States asked her to waive the immunity, India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, but India refused, instead transferring her to a position in New Delhi.
Daniel Arshack, Khobragade’s lawyer, told The New York Times that Khobragade was glad the State Department “did the right thing” by giving her diplomatic status.
Marie Harf, a deputy spokesperson for the State Department, said last month that Khobragade didn’t have immunity from the visa fraud charges. At that time, she was a deputy consul general, a position that gave her consular immunity, which can be applied only to official duties.