Saudi diplomat accused of rape of Nepali women leaves India

Saudi Arabia withdrew its diplomat, instead of waiving his immunity.
Saudi diplomat accused of rape of Nepali women leaves India
Saudi diplomat accused of rape of Nepali women leaves India
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The Saudi Arabian diplomat accused of rape by two Nepalese women has left India.

"We learn that Saudi Embassy First Secretary Mr. Majed Hassan Ashoor, who is allegedly accused of abusing two Nepali maids, has left India. The first secretary being a diplomat is governed by the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations," external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a statement.

The diplomat was accused by the two Nepalese women, who had been hired as domestic helps, of rape and Gurgaon police had filed a first information report in the case. No arrests had been made since the accused had invoked diplomatic immunity. However, following the seriousness of the charges, the MEA had asked Saudi Arabia to cooperate in the probe by the Gurgaon police.

The victims had been lured to Delhi with the promise of well-paid jobs and then allegedly sold to the Saudi diplomat, who is the First Secretary at the embassy, states a report by The Hindu

In their statement, the women alleged that they had been held captive by the diplomat and his family for a period of over three months during which they had been continuously assaulted, raped and even forced to perform "unnatural sex" for the official and other Saudi nationals, sometimes even at knife-point. They had also been taken to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia for a few days during this period. 

Another woman who had reportedly been sold to the diplomat, but managed to escape, complained to an NGO called Maiti Nepal India. The NGO in turn contacted the Gurgaon police. Following a request from the Nepal Embassy, the Gurgaon police raided the apartment of the diplomat and rescued the two women. An FIR had been filed under sections 376 D (gangrape), 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offence), 342 (wrongful confinement), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 323 (causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

Medical examination of the victims, who had been hired as domestic helps at the diplomat's house, showed that “the women have been so grievously tortured that it will take years to recover,” a senior official at the Gurgaon civil hospital told The Indian Express. He added that the women had been subjected to every possible form of sexual abuse. 

“There is prima facie evidence of abuse, sodomy and rape by the diplomat and his father-in-law,” a senior official handling the case told The Hindu

But the Saudi embassy, dismissing the charges as “completely false” and "contrary to facts in our possession", said they would wait for the Indian government to clarify the matter as per diplomatic norms.

A Saudi embassy official also disapproved of the way police was damaging a person and a country's reputation on the basis of mere charges made by a third person and said it was violative of the rights of the diplomat and his family. 

With inputs from IANS

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