India gives it back, asks US embassy to stop club activities

Stepping up the pressure on the US government after the arrest of diplomat Devyani Khobragade, India on Wednesday asked the American embassy in New Delhi to stop all commercial activities including a restaurant, bar and parlour on its premises by 16 January.

India’s action comes ahead of the 13 January deadline for the indictment of Khobragade in New York on visa fraud charges. Taking a tough stand, the government has asked the embassy to stop commercial activities undertaken under the aegis of the American community support association (ACSA), which was running an exclusive club for the foreigners, which included restaurant-bar, video club, bowling alley, swimming pool, sports field, beauty parlour and gym.

All US embassy and diplomats’ cars will also be firmly dealt with under local traffic rules and policemen have been ordered to make no exception. It is understood the US diplomatic vehicles will now attract penalties for all traffic-related offences such as unauthorized parking, red light jumping, dangerous driving, etc. Necessary action against vehicles with AF (applied for) number plates is also on the cards. The US has also been asked to provide the tax returns filed by it with Indian authorities for commercial activities which are afforded through ACSA to non-diplomatic persons, sources said.
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