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High-profile arrest uncovers plight of India’s invisible workforce

NEW DELHI, India — She is only a footnote in one of the biggest diplomatic rows between India and the US in recent memory.

But for Agnes Samuel, the high-profile dispute between her daughter-in-law and diplomat Devyani Khobragade had terrifying consequences.

The dispute involves Khobragade, a 39-year-old consular official in New York, who was recently arrested on charges of falsifying visa documents to get her housekeeper, Sangeeta Richard, into the country. Khobragade said she paid Richard $4,500 a month, while being accused of actually paying her around $3 an hour.

It was Richard who, with the help of an NGO, went to the State Department with the allegations. Khobragade's subsequent arrest sparked outrage in India. There were protests in both countries this week.

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