Saudi diplomat arrested for involvement in gang rape
The victims were identified as a 44 year old mother and her 20 year old daughter. (AFP/File)
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A Saudi Arabian diplomat has been booked for gang rape and wrongful confinement of two Nepali women who had worked in his residence in India.
The victims, a woman of 44 years of age and her 20-year-old daughter, were rescued from the unnamed diplomat’s residence in the city of Gurgaon, south of the capital, New Delhi, following a police raid on September 7, the Indian Express daily reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, the women, hired as domestic help, had been allegedly raped, assaulted, threatened and forced to have unnatural sex for over four months, with their medical examination confirming rape and sexual assault.
“The raid was conducted on Monday (September 7) 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…,” said Rajesh Kumar Chechi, the Gurgaon assistant commissioner of police (crime).
“They were brought to the police station and later sent to the civil hospital for a medical examination that confirmed rape and sexual assault,” Chechi added.
Media reports said the women were deceived to leave their country with promises of fake jobs.
Chechi further said the two were hired through an agent in New Delhi.
“They were first taken to Saudi Arabia. The assault began after they returned… and were kept in captivity at his house,” said Bal Krishan, the president of Maiti Nepal India, an NGO that informed the police of the women’s plight.
Police sources also confirmed that the women were kept in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah for a couple of months before being brought to India and held hostage.
The victims told the Times Now television channel they were not subject to abuse at the embassy official's house in Saudi Arabia and that they faced the violence after being returned to India.
“Last four months were a curse for us. It was so ugly… we thought we were going to die in that house and our families would never even find our bodies,” said the 20-year-old woman.
The mother added that at some days seven to eight men - all from Saudi Arabia - assaulted them, adding, “If we resisted, the diplomat and his family would threaten to kill us and dispose of our bodies in the sewer.”
She further said they were starved and that the diplomat’s wife did not only did not try to help them but also beat them up.
The diplomat’s wife and two other Saudi nationals are among the accused people in the case.
Meanwhile, the Saudi embassy in India has released a statement, denouncing the allegations against the diplomat as false and baseless.
"The embassy strongly stresses that these allegations are false and have not been proven," the statement read, adding that the diplomatic mission has also brought to the notice of the concerned officials “in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs the unwarranted media briefing before investigations are complete, and has protested the police intrusion into a diplomat's house against all diplomatic conventions.”
According to police, the official has diplomatic immunity and is currently in the embassy.
Thousands of Nepalis go to India and other Asian and Arab countries every year in search of a job as domestic servants and laborers.