India asks Saudi Arabia to present errant diplomat before police

New Delhi/Gurgaon: India on Thursday asked Saudi Arabia to present its diplomat, accused of rape and torture of two Nepalese women, before investigators and cooperate with the probe in the case that has triggered outrage.

Saudi Arabian Ambassador Saud Mohammed Alsati was called to the External Affairs Ministry and told that the accused diplomat should give a statement to the Gurgaon police probing the case.

"MEA Chief of Protocol called in Saudi Ambassador today and conveyed request of Haryana Police for cooperation of Embassy in the case of two Nepali citizens," Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said. It is learnt that the diplomat along with his family has shifted to the Saudi Embassy while the two Nepalese women have left for Nepal earlier in the day.

The MEA called in the Saudi envoy, a day after it received a 'detailed report' about the case from Gurgaon Police. The report was sent to MEA hours after a second medical examination of the two women confirmed rape and sodomy, said Rajesh Chechi, ACP (Crime) of Gurgaon Police.

Asked whether Saudi Arabia has invoked diplomatic immunity of the diplomat, accused of confining and raping the women at his house in Gurgaon, to enable him escape prosecution, sources said India has not been informed about any such move.

The two women were rescued from the diplomat's house in Gurgaon on Monday by police. Sources said Nepal government has requested India to take action against the Saudi diplomat and ensure justice to the victim women.

The option for Saudi Arabia include shifting the diplomat out of India, while New Delhi has the option of declaring him persona non grata if he does not cooperate with the investigation.

The Saudi Embassy had issued a statement yesterday terming the allegations as "false" and said it has protested police 'intrusion' into a diplomat's house against "all diplomatic conventions".

The Saudi Ambassador along with some embassy officials had also met senior MEA officials on Wednesday to register their protest.

Meanwhile, a group of women rights activists held a protest outside Saudi Embassy demanding action against the diplomat. They demanded that no diplomatic immunity be extended to him.

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