Saudi diplomat issue casts shadow on Indo-Nepal ties

Updated - November 16, 2021 04:11 pm IST

Published - September 18, 2015 03:03 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The departure of the Saudi Arabian diplomat Majed Hassan Ashoor, who has been accused of raping his Nepali housemaid and her daughter, has not ended the crisis over the brutal treatment of the two women. Following Mr. Ashoor’s exit, the triangular crisis has acquired a bilateral shape involving India and Nepal, and has cast a shadow on India’s work in the last stages of the delicate process of making Nepal’s Constitution.

Envoy being sent

The overall sense of emergency generated by the case, and the context of Nepal’s fractured internal politics, can be measured by the fact that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar is being sent to Kathmandu as the Special Envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to soothe the frayed nerves of the Nepali civil society and its political parties.

The Hindu has learnt that the Nepalese embassy in Delhi has asked the Indian investigating authorities to further probe the information that the diplomat was often partnered by a group of friends in his alleged crime.

“We know that the Saudi diplomat had a few local and foreigner partners who also brutally assaulted the maids. We have asked the Indian authorities to investigate and arrest at least the Indians involved,” said Rajendra Man Shrestha, the police representative of Nepal in Delhi. The Nepal government representatives in Delhi have said that India cannot wash off its share of responsibility in the case as the crime was committed on Indian territory.

The diplomat’s exit has already caused a sensation in the Nepali media, which is surprised at the turn of events. South Block sources, however, suggest that India and Nepal worked closely to remove any misunderstanding in the case. But, the case is likely to leave some marks of damage on India-Nepal ties.

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