KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Two Nepalese maids who alleged they were beaten and raped by a Saudi diplomat in India were taken to a women’s shelter in Nepal on Thursday.
The women had their faces covered and were protected by several police officers on arrival at the Kathmandu airport. They were whisked away in a waiting van to a women’s shelter, and did not speak to reporters.
The women, who were working as maids in the diplomat’s house near New Delhi, were picked up on Monday after a non-governmental organization tipped off police. The police said a medical examination of the women confirmed they were raped, and a case of rape and illegal confinement was registered against the diplomat, who has not been named.
He has claimed diplomatic immunity, and the Saudi Embassy in a statement Wednesday denied the allegations against him. The embassy also complained that the police violated diplomatic protocol by entering the diplomat’s residence.
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Police in India said that the women told them that they were beaten and raped repeatedly during the past few months. Police said they would submit a report to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, because the case involved a diplomat.
The ministry said it would take action based on the police report.
A top Indian External Affairs Ministry official called in Saudi Ambassador Saud bin Mohammed Al-Saty on Thursday and conveyed the police request for cooperation of the embassy in the case.
The women told police that they were lured from their homes in Nepal by recruiting agents who sent them to the diplomat. When they were hired in April, they were promised higher wages compared to their earnings in Nepal. However, they claimed the diplomat had not paid them at all.