Last week, a deputy consul at India's consulate in New York City was arrested for visa fraud and falsifying statements on an application for her nanny to live and work in the city. Apparently Devyani Khobragade claimed she was paying $4,500 for her caregiver's services but the Post reports, "in reality, the caregiver received only $573 monthly, or a measly $3.31 an hour." Now, the Indian government has retaliated by destroying safety barriers at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said last week, "Foreign nationals brought to the United States to serve as domestic workers are entitled to the same protections against exploitation as those afforded to United States citizens. The false statements and fraud alleged to have occurred here were designed to circumvent those protections so that a visa would issue for a domestic worker who was promised far less than a fair wage. This type of fraud on the United States and exploitation of an individual will not be tolerated."

India's national security adviser characterized Khobragade's arrest as "despicable and barbaric"—she was allegedly arrested while taking her daughter to school and strip-searched. According to the Guardian, "The country's foreign secretary summoned the US ambassador. Politicians—including Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and vice chairman of the ruling Congress party, and Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate of the Hindu nationalist opposition BJP—refused to meet a visiting US congressional delegation."

The State Department says it did everything by the book and BBC News reports that the State DEpartment's position is that she doesn't have full diplomatic immunity, "It said under the UN's Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, she is immune from arrest only for crimes committed in connection with her work."

In addition to removing the barriers (which were apparently blocking traffic), Indian officials are reportedly threatening to "downgrade privileges [of American diplomats] and demanding information about how much they pay their Indian household staff, according to the Press Trust of India news agency."

Khobragade was released after posting $250,000 bail. In the meantime, The Guardian explains, "In India most middle class families will employ at least one full-time domestic servant, possibly two and sometimes three or four. Wealthy households sometimes employ dozens, including drivers, cleaners, cooks, nannies and gardeners. Supporters argue that the custom provides a degree of welfare and social mobility for often illiterate workers from rural areas which otherwise would not exist. Critics say it reinforces a rigid hierarchy and is exploitative."