NEW YORK: India has reacted angrily to a court case lodged against a diplomat in New York who is accused of sexually harassing his house maid and treating her like a slave.
The maid, 45-year-old Santosh Bhardwaj, filed a lawsuit on Monday in a US court against India’s consul general Prabhu Dayal and his family, claiming she was under-paid, sexually harassed and prevented from travelling.
India’s foreign ministry said late Wednesday it was “disappointed and deeply concerned” that Indian diplomats and their family members were being apparently targeted in the United States.
Earlier this year, the daughter of another diplomat in New York was detained by police for more than 24 hours on suspicion of sending abusive emails to her school teacher. She was later cleared of wrongdoing.
“We are disappointed and surprised at the allegations against the consul general of India in New York, Mr Prabhu Dayal, by his former employee, which appear to be motivated and baseless,” said ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash.
“Such actions impede the ability of the individuals in question to discharge their official responsibilities and cause untold mental harassment and anguish and they cannot be dismissed lightly.”
Dayal, in New York since 2008, has previously served as ambassador to Mexico and Kuwait.
In January, the Indian foreign ministry recalled a diplomat posted at the British High Commission in London who was accused of beating his wife.
Last year, another diplomat posted in Islamabad was arrested by Indian authorities on suspicion of spying for Pakistan.