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Saudi Arabian embassy protests police raid on official’s house

The Nepalese women, who said they were raped by a Saudi official, seen at the Nepal embassy in New Delhi on Wednesday..   | Photo Credit: ANINDITO MUKHERJEE

Diplomatic troubles mounted for India over the case of a > Saudi diplomat accused of torturing and raping two Nepalese women at his home in Gurgaon over three months. On Wednesday, the Saudi Ambassador Dr. Saud Mohammed Alsati met Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials dealing with West Asia and protested the Gurgaon police’s raid on the diplomat’s home, saying it was “against all diplomatic conventions.”

A press statement released by the Saudi embassy said the >allegations against the diplomat and his family were “false” and “have not been proven.” According to the statement of the two Nepalese women, aged 50 and 30, they had been locked up in the diplomat’s apartment at a posh residential complex in Gurgaon, and raped by the diplomat and several other Saudi Arabian men, and prevented from leaving the house by the diplomat’s wife and daughter at > knife-point.

They were rescued on Tuesday by the police on a tip-off from an NGO that works on trafficking cases called, Maiti Nepal India, after a specific request from the Nepal embassy. Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Nepal’s ambassador Deep Upadhyaya said they had been in touch with the MEA and the Gurgaon police and were “satisfied with the cooperation from the police.”

However, after the protest by the Saudi Ambassador, and the release of a mobile recording of the police’s entry into the diplomat’s house, the government is on the backfoot over the diplomat’s immunity. In the video, police are seen barging into the residence, pushing aside family members including a young girl who were physically resisting their entry. According to Articles 29-31of the Vienna convention (UN 1961), that governs the treatment of diplomatic officials, any diplomat is “inviolable” and the state is bound to prevent any attack on him, his family and even his private residence, that “enjoys the same protection” as an embassy. Gurgaon Commissioner of Police Navdeep Virk indicated that they had been unaware of the diplomat’s status, telling reporters, "We have since been able to establish the identity (of the diplomat who has been accused of rape) and we have also been able to establish that the residents of that flat enjoy diplomatic immunity," he said.

The MEA declined any comment on the issue, and the spokesperson only said they were “waiting for the detailed police report.” That report has now been sent by the Gurgaon police to to Director General of Police (Haryana), the Ministry of External Affairs and the Embassies of Nepal and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeking directions on how to proceed in the case. Sources told The Hindu that the three-page report contains FIR details, statements of victims recorded in front of the magistrate, and statements of the NGO Maiti Nepal India that tipped off Gurgaon Police to their plight.

The two women are expected to fly back to Nepal on Thursday as they are still under treatment for injuries they allegedly received from their employers over the weekend.

“They are still in trauma and were counselled by our staff. We have already contacted their families in Nepal and they will be reunited with them soon.” said Bal Krishan, the president Maiti Nepal India.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 2:50:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/saudi-arabian-embassy-protests-police-raid-on-officials-house/article7634450.ece

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