India orders series of reprisals against US

NEW DELHI: A political row between India and the US is escalating over an Indian diplomat’s arrest in New York, as New Delhi is taking a series of retaliatory measures.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has ordered the revocation of all ID cards issued by the ministry to officials at US consulates across the country.

The issuance of all import clearances for the American Embassy will also be stopped.

Reports say Indian security forces are also removing police barricades from streets near the US Embassy. The barricades around the embassy were put in place as part of enhanced security.

Last week, India's deputy consul general Devyani Khobragade was arrested in New York over visa fraud allegations.

India has called the move humiliating and completely unacceptable. The Indian foreign minister has spoken about the measures against the US.

Meanwhile, top Indian politicians have refused to meet with a US Congressional delegation over the arrest.

India’s opposition candidate for the position of prime minister, Narendra Modi, said on Tuesday that he along with other top politicians have declined the meeting with the five-member US team due to the detention of India’s deputy consul general.

The developments come after the US used sophisticated equipment to spy on the Indian Embassy in Washington and India's UN office in New York.

Reports say the US National Security Agency (NSA) has targeted Indian diplomatic mission on the US soil over the past few months.

The US spies reportedly bugged telephone lines of the Indian diplomatic missions and copied their hard disks.

India is on a top secret list of countries targeted for intensive spying. The latest developments are set to deteriorate relations between the two countries.

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