An Indian lawmaker has urged the Delhi government to strip all the American diplomats in the country naked, in order to send a "strong warning" to the US over the recent arrest of Devyani Khobragade in New York.
"Give a strong warning to America. Their people should be stripped naked too. Make them apologise," said Mulayam Singh, leader of Samajwadi Party – which is part of the ruling coalition United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
The outspoken leader was speaking during a session at the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) of the Indian parliament when scores of politicians heaped scorn on the US over the treatment of Khobragade during her arrest.
Khobragade, Indian deputy consul general, was subjected to strip search following her arrest by the New York police triggering a stinging response from Delhi.
The US Marshals Service has defended the action releasing a statement: "Yes, Devyani Khobragade was subject to the same search procedures as other USMS arrestees held within the general prisoner population in the Southern District of New York."
Other senior leaders have also responded sharply to the manner in which Khobragade was arrested by US authorities during the fiery parliament session.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dubbed Khobragade's treatment "deplorable".
Foreign Minister Salman Kurshid said: "It is no longer an issue of an individual, but the sovereignty of a nation is involved," pledging to "bring back the woman diplomat arrested in New York and restore her dignity".
Senior opposition leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yashwant Sinha had earlier said: "My suggestion to the Government of India is, the media has reported that we have issued visas to a number of US diplomats' companions. 'Companions' means they are of the same sex.
"Now, after the Supreme Court ruling, it is completely illegal in our country. Just as paying less wages was illegal in the US. So, why doesn't the government of India go ahead and arrest all of them? Put them behind bars, prosecute them in this country and punish them."
India's top court had recently re-criminalised consensual homosexual encounters between two adults.
However, the US has insisted the safety and rights of its diplomatic staff in India are its top priority.
"The safety and security of our diplomats and consular officers in the field is a top priority. We'll continue to work with India to ensure that all of our diplomats and consular officers are being afforded full rights and protections," said US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.