India asks US Embassy not to screen movies

Piling further pressure, India has asked the US Embassy not to screen any movies at the American Centre without obtaining a licence and gave it a deadline of 20 January to do so. The American Centre regularly screens movies for invited audiences apparently without a licence to do so. To stop this ‘transgression’, a notice has been sent by the government.

This is yet another step by India in retaliation for the arrest and humiliation of its Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer. ‘To relentlessly put a stop to transgressions of US institutions in Delhi, Government has now brought the activities of the American Centre under the scanner,’ sources said.

In a ‘tersely-worded communication sent to the American Centre on Friday, a deadline of 20 January, 2014 has been given to the American Centre to comply with Govt of India laws and Delhi Govt regulations and obtain license for screening films’, the sources said. ‘Failure to comply with the directive would result in the American Centre having to cease screening films from 21 January’, they added.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has yesterday termed the arrest of Khobragade as ‘temporary aberrations’ in Indo-US strategic relationship and said diplomacy should be given chance to resolve the issue.

Khobragade, the 39-year-old IFS officer, was arrested in New York on 12 December on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richard and subjected to strip and cavity search.
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