Saudi diplomat accused of rape withdrawn from India
Majed Hassan Ashoor, the Saudi Arabian diplomat accused of sexual assault on two Nepali maids, quietly left India late Wednesday after Indian and Saudi Arabia seem to have struck a deal to avoid further embarrassment to both sides, agencies report.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had stepped in to resolve the issue amicably to prevent any negative impact on Indo-Saudi relations and the quiet departure of the Saudi diplomat appeared as the best way to end the impasse.
India government was suspected to be going soft on the case. Kathmandu, which was closely monitoring the case, wanted New Delhi to serve justice to the two maids who are now back in Nepal.
Women’s activists are upset over the way India had handled the case. They feel justice has not been served to the maids. After the Indian government sent them home, the two have been disowned by their families.
According to the activists, India should have allowed them to stay in India, given them protection, adequate compensation and sought their cooperation in successfully completing the investigation.
Instead, India packed them off in a hurry and the diplomat too left in a hurry.
“The case will go ahead,” Deep Kumar Upadhyay, the Nepalese ambassador to India, said in a televised interview with the ANI news agency. He added that it was “our duty to give justice to the poor victims.”
“If there is talk of any involvement of any kind, the Saudi government will have to investigate,” he said.
In Nepal, police Tuesday night arrested the daughter-in-law of the older of the two victims from the tourist town of Pokhara, 200km northwest of Kathmandu.
“The woman and her brother are responsible for trafficking both victims and selling them to their contacts in Delhi for Rs 100,000 each,” said Kiran Bajracharya, spokesperson for the Central Investigation Bureau wing of the Nepal police.
The accused is a Kathmandu-based agent who had lured many Nepalese women, including the two victims, with promises of jobs abroad and handed them over to an agent, Anwar, in Delhi, the police said.
Her brother was also arrested and a case of human trafficking registered against both.
Nepal Police is now zeroing in on Anwar whose whereabouts is still unknown.