French diplomat accused of raping daughter arrested
Pascal Mazurier was taken into custody after police received a clearance from the external affairs ministries of India and France
French diplomat Pascal Mazurier has been arrested by Karnataka police on charges of raping his four-year-old daughter. After receiving a clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that he does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, the police arrested Pascal during the early hours of Tuesday.
“Yesterday evening we got clarification from the External Affairs ministry that he does not enjoy diplomatic immunity. Once we got the clearance Pascal was arrested today,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and order) T Sunil Kumar.
Kumar also informed that, they are awaiting the results of the forensic tests conducted on the clothes worn by the child and Pascal on the day of the alleged assault.
Pascal (39), who has been working as Chief of Joint Chancellerie, Consulate of France, Bangalore, for the past four years would be produced before the court on Tuesday evening said police sources. Pascal’s Keralite wife Suja Jones had filed a complaint against him last Friday.
Although the news broke on 14 June, the police didn’t arrest Pascal until Tuesday, a reason for which it is facing widespread flak. Bangalore police didn’t arrest the diplomat despite the French government’s statements to the media providing the police the freedom to take him into custody. Pascal’s wife Suja had even drafted letters to the Home Ministry and MEA to not let Pascal go free. She even complained that Pascal has been physically and emotionally abusing her and she has been a victim of domestic violence.
Even several human rights and women’s organisations had held a protest in front of French Consulate on Monday demanding Pascal’s immediate arrest. More than 40 activists were held under custody and released later in the evening.
Both the ministries of external affairs of India and France have given their clarification that Pascal does not enjoy diplomatic immunity as he has been issued a service passport.
A statement released by French MEA has categorically stated that, “The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) does not provide for immunity of jurisdiction for acts committed outside the exercise of consular duties (Article 43).”
Apart from a daughter, Pascal and his wife have two sons aged seven and two years each. Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Nina Nayak said, “Suja Jones is emotionally traumatised by the incident and is apprehensive about her financial condition and ability to sustain the maintenance of her three children. She only gets a non-working spouse’s allowance from the French government, which is credited to her husband’s account.”
The child rights’s commission has intervened and demanded from the French ambassador a non-working spouse allowance and additional support for Suja’s daughter. The ambassador has contacted Jones over the phone, but no formal offer of financial support has yet been made, said Nayak.
Suja’s daughter is being given psychiatric counselling at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS) informed Nayak.
B’lore child abuse case: Police yet to press charges against Pascal
Protesting activists demanding action taken into police custody, MEA says Pascal can face prosecution under Indian law
Around 40 activists have been taken into preventive custody by the Karnataka Police while they were protesting in front of the French Consulate office in Bangalore Monday demanding the arrest of French Diplomat Pascal Mazurier who has been implicated in a molestation case for physically abusing his four-year-old daughter. Pascal’s Keralite wife Suja Jones had filed the case against him last Friday.
Protestors who had gathered at around 11.30 am at the French Consulate were picked up by the police and were taken to the police training academy near Koramangla even though the Consulate falls under the jurisdiction of High Grounds Police. Speaking to Tehelka (under custody) Ashok Matthew Philip, South India Cell for Human Rights (SICHREM) director, said that more than 100 activists had gathered to demand the arrest of Pascal whom the Bangalore police had let off.
“We had plans to drag this protest till 1 pm, and see to it that, Pascal is arrested. But before we could do anything, we were picked up for violating Section 144 for unlawful assembly,” said Philip. “The police have not pressed for any charge till now; we will be let off only after 6 PM,” informed Philip over phone from the Police Training Academy.
Pascal’s case came to light when his wife Suja filed a case against him for physically abusing their four-year-old daughter. Bangalore police registered a case of molestation based on Suja’s complaint and took him for interrogation and later handed him over to the French Consulate. Activists and Suja feared that Pascal might be set free citing diplomatic immunity. Suja even drafted a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Home Ministry. The MEA however has clarified that Pascal, who works as deputy head at the consulate, enjoys no such immunity as he holds a ‘service passport’; and can face prosecution under Indian Law. Suja, meanwhile, has also pleaded for financial support as her husband has restricted her access to their jointly held account.
T Suneel Kumar, Additional Commissioner Law and Order, said the Bangalore police still haven’t got the communiqué from the MEA. “Once we receive it, we will go ahead,” he said. “No charges have been pressed against the activists, they will released after 6,” added Kumar.
In the meanwhile, the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Nina Nayak has drafted a letter to the French Consulate demanding non-working allowance, monthly maintenance fees and additional support for the girl child. When contacted Nayak said, “We have a fear that Pascal might close his bank account. Hence we have written to the consulate for support. We have faxed the letter today (Monday) and are awaiting a reply.”
Bangalore-based French diplomat accused of molesting daughter
Karnataka Police register molestation case on a complaint filed by diplomat’s wife for abusing their four-year-old daughter
A French diplomat working in the IT hub in Bangalore has been accused of physically abusing his minor daughter. Based on a complaint filed by his wife, Karnataka police has registered a case of molestation against him.
“We have registered a case of molestation against Pascal Mazurier under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint filed by his wife, an Indian, that he had been sexually abusing their four-year-old daughter,” said deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Ravikant Gowda.
Mazurier (39) is a French national working as the deputy head of Chancellory at the French Consulate in Bangalore is married to Suja Jones. The couple has two sons and a four-year-old daughter.
Late on Thursday, Suja filed a complaint with the High Grounds Police Station, which is less than 1km from the French Consulate, accusing her husband of physically abusing their daughter. Suja who had for long doubted her husband’s intentions towards their daughter instructed her maid to keep a watch on Mazurier when he came home for lunch. According to the maid’s statement, on Wednesday Pascal had spent nearly two hours with the four-year-old girl in a locked room.
Suja, who later took her daughter to the city Baptist hospital for an examination, was told that an attempt to rape had been made on the child. Doctors who examined the girl have also filed a medico-legal case on Thursday. Based on the medico-legal report, Suja filed a complaint alleging rape of a minor. The police later took Pascal into custody for questioning.
Sources revealed that Suja, who hails from Kerala, had earlier approached Enfold India an NGO for counselling. Suja was seeking help as she was going through a trauma of being a mute witness to her husband abusing their child over many weeks. “The incident has been brought to our notice by a member of the NGO that the child’s mother had accused her French husband of molesting their child,” said Karnataka Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Nina Nayak.
“The case is under investigation, the diplomat is being interrogated to verify the charges. We have not arrested the accused as we are waiting for the medical report of the child,” Gowda clarified. Meanwhile, the French consulate in Bangalore declined to comment.
Imran Khan is Correspondent with Tehelka