NEW DELHI, Jan 10 � India today expelled a senior American diplomat within hours of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade being asked to leave the US after her indictment in a visa fraud case for which she was arrested nearly a month ago, triggering strong reaction from the government here, reports PTI.
The unnamed Director-rank American diplomat based here was given �a little more than 48 hours� to leave India even as Khobragade was on her way home from New York, where the US government finally approved her accreditation to the UN which gave her full diplomatic immunity as against partial immunity at the time of her arrest on December 12 when she was Deputy Consul General there.
India�s tit-for-tat action is only the second instance of a US diplomat being expelled, the first instance being expulsion of George Griffin, then political Counsellor, 33 years ago. That was in retaliation against similar action being taken by the US against Prabhakar Menon, an Indian diplomat.
Refraining from using the term �expulsion�, official sources said here that the US Embassy has been asked to �withdraw� one of its diplomats of similar rank as that of Khobragade, which the government �have reasons to believe, is closely involved in the processes relating to this case and subsequent unilateral action by the US.� However, the sources did not divulge the name of the American diplomat.