Outrage over 'heinous act' by French diplomat

Outrage over 'heinous act' by French diplomat

The rape of his three-and-half-year-old child by French diplomat Pascal Mazurier shook concerned citizens as an impromptu protest was held at the French Consulate in the City on Monday.

The Campaign Against Child Labour, a consortium of child rights organisations, launched the protest, decrying the ‘inhuman’ abuse of the child by Mazurier and his efforts to escape punishment under the garb of diplomatic immunity.

As many as 30 protestors assembled in front of the French Consulate, allegedly
without the permission of the police. They were carrying banners that said: ‘Diplomatic immunity does not cover rapists.’ They raised slogans against Pascal. The members of the consortium were allowed to protest, albeit only for 45 minutes, before the police intervened.

The police said that the protestors had not given any indication or letter seeking permission for the protest and that it was creating a ‘nuisance’ in public place.

When an argument ensued, the local ACP arrived with his team to arrest the members and whisk them away to Adugodi police station. One of the protesters Nagasimha Rao alleged that the police refused to take their application seeking permission for the protest and told them to hold a protest at Freedom Park. The police also registered FIRs for unlawful assembly and disobedience against 26 people, many of whom are disabled.

Meanwhile, France’s ambassador to India, Francois Richier, spoke to the child’s mother Suja Jones on Monday. Suja also submitted a written complaint to the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. While the Commission had taken suo motu cognisance of the incident earlier, the formal complaint by the mother was given on Monday.

The Commission has asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to help get a quick response from the Union Home Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs. Commission sources said Suja’s main concern was that her children were French citizens and that they could be separated from her.

She is also disturbed that doctors who had examined her daughter initially had dismissed her fears that the injuries suffered by the girl were due to sexual abuse. Suja is said to be in a better frame of mind after the outpouring of public support and the arrival of her relatives.

Suja, who spoke to the media later in the day, encouraged more women to come out and speak about such crimes. She also expressed frustration at the slow pace of investigations. Her lawyer Geeta Menon said the court had agreed for the DNA test on Pascal Mazurier. She said the child would not be subjected to further tests or questioning as of now.

Results not out yet

The Forensic Science Laboratory is yet to send test reports of the smear samples of the three-and-half-year-old child. According to doctors at Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, the samples were handed over to the police and the test reports will also be given to them. Later, the reports will be handed over to the gynaecologist who had conducted the medical examination on the child.
The final report will be prepared by the same gynaecologist, the doctors said.

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