Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Barbarian conduct of Saudi Arabian Diplomat: Nepali women rescued from his Gurgaon home allege torture, sexual assault

NB: This ghastly conduct demands the severest punishment to the diplomat concerned. Even if he has immunity a police case under sections of the IPC relating to abduction, assault, kidnapping and rape should be registered and the man thrown out of the country immediately. The matter should be circulated globally to shame the brutal Saudi regime. They should not be allowed to brush it aside as a minor incident. The Nepali government and civil society should also take much more seriously the atrocious treatment of Nepali workers, and especially women migrants to the Arab kingdoms. DS

A diplomat from Saudi Arabia is among those booked for gangrape and wrongful confinement after two women — a woman, 44, and her daughter, 20, from Nepal — were rescued from his residence in Gurgaon after a raid on Monday night, police said. The women, who were hired as domestic help, were allegedly kept as “hostages for more than a month”. Their medical examination has confirmed rape and sexual assault.

The woman and her 44-year-old mother were rescued from the Gurgaon residence of a diplomat from Saudi Arabia on Monday night. Hired as domestic help, they were allegedly held hostage at the house and sexually abused every day for the last four months by the diplomat and his ‘guests’. “There were days when seven to eight men — all from Saudi Arabia — would assault us. If we resisted, the diplomat and his family would threaten to kill us and dispose of our bodies in the sewer,” said the older woman. She claimed that on one occasion, the diplomat had even slashed her on the arm with a knife. 

The two women were rescued from the diplomat’s apartment in Caitriona Towers, Ambience Lagoon on Monday night. The raid was reportedly planned after the police received a letter from the Nepal embassy regarding their plight. Read: Gurgaon Police swung into action after letter from Nepal Embassy Police sources said the two women employed by the diplomat’s family had been allegedly raped, assaulted, threatened and forced to have unnatural sex over a period of four months

“The raid was conducted on Monday at the Caitriona Towers house of a senior diplomat in the Saudi Arabia embassy after a tip-off. Several policewomen were assaulted by the guards of the diplomat when the police team sought to rescue the two maids from Nepal who had been held hostage for more than a month,” said Rajesh Kumar Chechi, Gurgaon Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime). “They (the victims) were brought to the police station and later sent to the civil hospital for a medical examination that confirmed rape and sexual assault,” said Chechi.

While the diplomat is untraceable since the raid, he has been booked 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). However, no arrest has been made so far. The diplomat’s wife, two others from Saudi Arabia and others have also been listed as accused. When contacted, Saudi Ambassador Saud Mohammed Alsati told The Indian Express, “This is completely false. We would not like to comment any further since the case is under investigation by the Indian police.”

On Tuesday, the Gurgaon police wrote a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs seeking permission for further investigation into the diplomat’s involvement in the rape case, confirmed a senior police officer. Later in the day, the victims’ statements were recorded before a magistrate. The victims reportedly said that on one occasion they were “gangraped by six expats” in the Gurgaon apartment. According to the police, the diplomat’s wife was aware of the sexual assault and even supported her husband. In their complaint, the victims said the accused threatened them and attacked them with a knife twice, said the police.

According to Chechi, the two women were hired through a placement agent in Delhi. “They were also taken to Saudi Arabia and returned only last month. They had been held hostage since then,” he said. The women were reportedly lured to Delhi about four months ago by a woman trafficker who promised them a well-paid job in Saudi Arabia. Sources in the police said the two were sold to an agent in Delhi for Rs 1 lakh each, and then to the diplomat. “They were first taken to Saudi Arabia. 

The assault began after they returned… and were kept in captivity at his house,” said Bal Krishan, president of Maiti Nepal India, an NGO that carried out the rescue operation with the help of the Gurgaon Police. Police sources also confirmed that the victims were kept in Jeddah for a couple of months and then brought to India and held hostage. “A few days ago, a domestic help had gone to the diplomat’s place for work, but fled after seeing the condition of the two victims. She then went to this NGO and alerted them. An investigation began on the basis of her account,” said a senior official. 

2 Women, Allegedly Raped, Rescued From Saudi Diplomat's Gurgaon Home
NEW DELHI:  Two women who alleged that they had been tortured, sexually assaulted and kept in bondage for months, were rescued from the Gurgaon home of a diplomat from Saudi Arabia. The women, aged 50 and 20, who are from Nepal, had been employed as domestic helps. "We have been in captivity for around three to four months. They raped us, kept us locked up, did not give us anything to eat," one of the women told NDTV. They said when they tried to run away, they were beaten up.

The incident came to light when a newly employed domestic help fled after seeing the condition of the women, sources said. She then contacted a non-profit - Meitei India - which called in the police. The complaint was backed by the Nepalese embassy.

"These women were kept first at a hotel in Saudi Arabia, they were brought to India about three months ago," said Balkrishan Pandey of Meitei India. "They have been tortured and abused and they carry visible scars." Sources in the police said they did not know that the person involved was a diplomat. When they reached the house, they witnessed two Saudi women beating up the Nepalese women. The Saudi women even allegedly assaulted and abused the police party.

A rape case has been registered but the police are a little unsure of how to proceed further, with diplomatic immunity being involved here. Senior police officers told NDTV that this was a case like no other and they will consult the foreign ministry on Wednesday to find out what rights the diplomat enjoyed. The Embassy of Saudi Arabia has said the allegations were false and contrary to the information they have.