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Video footage of Devyani strip search is hoax: US

Washington: A video currently in circulation on the social media, which claims to be allegedly showing the CCTV footage of the strip search of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade after her arrest in New York is a hoax, dangerous and provocative fabrication, the United States has said.

“This video, which we are aware of, is absolutely not footage of Ms.Khobragade. We would call it a dangerous and provocative fabrication,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said yesterday. A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragade, India’s Deputy Consul General in New York, was arrested on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richard.

She was released on a USD 250,000 bond. The 39-year-old diplomat was strip searched and held with criminals, triggering a row between the two sides with India retaliating by downgrading privileges of certain category of US diplomats among other steps last month. The alleged video shows law enforcement officials strip searching a woman in custody. The woman is seen screaming, while she is being searched by police. “This hoax video, which I think has appeared on some news websites without obviously confirming its authenticity, because it’s not, we find it deeply troubling, irresponsible and reckless and condemn, again, this dangerous fabrication.

I want to make very clear this is not video of her,” Harf said. Harf said the State Department spoke with the US Marshals Service on this issue. “They confirm that the footage in question does not depict US marshal employees, obviously that the search methods depicted in the video are not US marshals’ policy. I haven’t watched the video myself. But I want to be very clear in saying this is not how we do things here,” she said.

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