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Mom-in-law disowns Sangeeta’s husband

Agnes, Philip’s mother, is employed as a housekeeper at a US diplomat’s house in the national capital. Her husband works as a driver with the US embassy.

Vatsala Shrangi  New Delhi | 21st Dec 2013

Sangeeta Richard with her husband Philip Richard. Sangeeta’s allegations led to diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s arrest in the US last week. PTI

gnes Samuel, the mother-in-law of Sangeeta Richard, the domestic worker whose complaint led to the arrest of Indian diplomat in the US, Devyani Khobragade, has denied having any relation with her daughter-in-law and even her son Philip Richard.

Agnes, Philip's mother, is employed as a housekeeper at a US diplomat's house in the national capital. Her husband works as a driver with the US embassy. However, it became apparent to this newspaper that the controversy surrounding Sangeeta, and the "evacuation" of her husband and children on a "trafficking visa" to the US have led the parents to go into hiding as well.

When this correspondent visited the Aurangzeb Lane house where the Richards have been living, the security guard deployed at the gate said, "No person by this name (Agnes Samuel) belongs here. If you know her you must try to reach her on phone." This

particular house on Aurangzeb Lane has been identified as the house where the Richards stay by another English newspaper as well.

When Agnes was contacted over phone, she at first refused to talk. Later, she said, "Why are you people harassing us? We are fed up with the media contacting us every day. He is not my son and I have nothing to do with him or the case. My employers are annoyed too and have deployed more security to protect us from the press."

Agnes Samuel, Sangeeta Richard’s mother-in-law, denied having any relation with Sangeeta and even with her son Philip Richard, who has been “evacuated” by US authorities.

However, in a 19 December interview with another English newspaper, Agnes had said, "Sangeeta, 42, who hails from Kerala, married Philip 20 years ago after three years of courtship, then apparently left his house three days later because he was not earning enough. I had reservations about the marriage but my son was in a hurry. She was staying in Ghaziabad with her father and had no job then."

The report also has Agnes saying "Sangeeta always wanted to work abroad. She knew I was working at a diplomat's house and wanted me to look for a similar job for her."

When Devyani's father Uttam Khobragade was contacted on the matter, he said, "Even we did not know that Sangeeta's father-in-law is employed with the US embassy. It was only this week that we found out from another source that he works as a driver with them.

The US embassy should have ideally informed us about this."

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