The Indian wife of a French consular official charged with raping their daughter has demanded a meeting with French President Francois Hollande this week, presenting him with a thorny diplomatic dilemma on his first state visit to India.

Lawyers for the official, Pascal Mazurier, were received at Mr. Hollande’s Elysee Palace last week in a move greeted with fury by the mother Suja Jones Mazurier, and the women’s and rights groups supporting her.

They accuse France of supporting the husband at the expense of the interests of the rape victim and her two siblings, who are all French nationals.

In a letter to Mr. Hollande’s Minister for Women, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Algerian academic Marieme Helie Lucas argues that the Elysee meeting was part of an orchestrated campaign in support of the father that amounted to an attempt to interfere with a criminal case going through the Indian courts.

“We were very surprised to learn, through the press, that only the advocates of the accused, the father of the young victim, have been received at the Elysee. We ask that you give your support to Ms. Mazurier’s Suja Jones’s demand for a meeting with the President of the Republic during his upcoming visit to India,” Helie Lucas, a prominent rights campaigner Helie Lucas wrote.

With emotions over the whole issue of rape running high in India because of a series of unrelated cases that have shocked the country, the timing could hardly be worse for France, which is hoping to strike a $12 billion-$18 billion deal with the Indian government for Rafale fighter jets. — PTI

  • Women’s and rights groups back Ms. Suja Jones Mazurier

  • France is hoping to sign a U.S. $12-$18 billion. deal with India for Rafale fighter jets