Diplomat transferred from London after wife-beating charges
Senior London-based diplomat Anil Verma, accused of assaulting his wife, has been transferred back home with immediate effect and is likely to face action.
Verma, a 1986-batch IAS officer of the West Bengal cadre and third-ranked diplomat in the Indian High Commission, found himself in trouble when his wife covered in blood was found screaming by neighbours on December 11.
When the police arrived, 45-year-old Verma, Minister (Economic) in the Indian mission, claimed diplomatic immunity and escaped action.
Sources said Verma has been transferred to Delhi with immediate effect and may face action which will be based on the findings of the probe into the allegations of assault against him.
In London, when contacted about MEA's directive, the Indian High Commission said, "at this stage, we have no comment to make". Verma was not available for comments.
Verma allegedly attacked his wife after a heated argument last month, Daily Mail had reported.
A British daily today reported that Verma's wife, Paromita was found screaming with blood coming out of her nose. Her clothes were covered in blood and she had grabbed a tea towel to stem the flow.
The 'Daily Mail' also reported that Paromita has gone into hiding with her five-year-old son as she fears for her life. She left the home soon after the incident and has not returned since then.
"Throughout their time over here, Anil would boast about his diplomatic immunity and he would tell Paromita that no one could touch him because of it. He would goad her and say, 'Call the police as many times as you want. I've got diplomatic immunity'.
"He was shameless with it. He has been given so much power and he is abusing it. Paromita has gone into hiding and seriously fears that her safety and health are in jeopardy," a close family friend of the Vermas was quoted by the British newspaper as saying.
Paromita, who is working with Indian Railways and is on study leave, wants to remain in the UK on humanitarian grounds amid fears that she would be forcibly taken back to India. She has now sought extention of leave, a the daily said. Verma is the third senior-most in the Indian mission after the High Commissioner and the Deputy High Commissioner.
After the incident came to light, the MEA had said the High Commission of India and the Ministry were aware of it and were carefully looking into it.
"It involves sensitive and personal issues pertaining to individuals," it had said.
Recollecting the day of incident, Verma's family friend was quoted by the daily as saying in London, "Anil suddenly blew up on the morning of the incident. He was in his pyjamas and suddenly flew into a rage over the fact that there was a Christmas tree in the house that had been given to them from one of Paromita's relatives.
"He stormed up the stairs to grab the tree and throw it out but Paromita followed and tried to stop him because their son had been decorating it. He suddenly turned round and punched her full in the face, very hard. Paromita almost fell down the stairs but grabbed on to the bannister to steady herself.
"She was screaming and blood was pouring from her nose like a tap. Her clothes were covered in blood and she grabbed a tea towel to stem the flow. Anil did not say a word to her and did not seem to care. He started shouting at Paromita's mother, who was also in the house, abusing her too.
"The front door was open and Paromita ran outside, where her neighbours found her. They called the police and an ambulance also arrived at the scene. Neighbours took her into their house to comfort her until the police arrived," the daily said.
Police were called to the family's home in Golders Green, NorthWest London. Officers questioned the diplomat but they were powerless to arrest him because of his diplomatic status.