The external affairs ministry on Thursday urged the embassy of Saudi Arabia to cooperate with the Gurgaon Police in the rape probe against one of its senior diplomats.
Chief of protocol in the ministry, Jaideep Mazumdar, called in Saudi envoy Saud Mohammed Alsati after going through the report of the police, who are looking into allegations of rape, assault and illegal confinement leveled against the unnamed Saudi official — who enjoys diplomatic immunity — by two Nepalese women employed as maids in his Gurgaon home.
“After taking the statement of the victims, the Gurgaon Police want to record the statement of the diplomat, which was conveyed to the Saudi envoy,” a government official said.
Saudi Arabia insists the allegations are “false” and has protested the police action at the diplomat’s house on Monday, when the women were rescued. The Nepal embassy is also in touch with the MEA and has sought justice for its nationals, both of whom flew home to Nepal earlier in the day.
The government has three options on dealing with the case. The first would be if the diplomat chose to cooperate.
Even if he were to be found guilty, he could be spared punishment on account of his diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention — which states that “the private residence of a diplomatic agent shall enjoy the same inviolability and protection as the premises of the mission”.
The second option before the ministry is to declare the diplomat a persona non grata and ask Saudi Arabia to take him back.
The last — and probably easiest — option is getting the Saudi government to transfer the diplomat out.
With the women back in Nepal, the police said the investigation would continue.
“We have recorded their statements and the medical examination was conducted on Wednesday. There was no point keeping them here unnecessarily and we cannot force them to stay back. They will join the investigation when required and have given a recorded statement to this effect,” said Gurgaon police commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk.
A group of women rights activists also held a protest outside the Saudi embassy in Delhi, demanding action against the diplomat.
(Inputs from HTC, Gurgaon)