A common predicament and desperate search for jobs brought the two rape victims from different parts of Nepal together.
A 50-year-old widow having to look after her two children and a 30-year-old woman having to raise money for her husband’s medical treatment landed in the room of an agent in the first week of May, who allegedly trafficked them to India.
The women surfaced nearly four months later after stories of their sexual exploitation allegedly by a Saudi diplomat appeared in the media.
According to the victims, they were taken to Delhi by a Nepali agent on May 4 with the promise of jobs. The agent then took them to his ‘boss’, an Indian who allegedly had contacts in the Saudi embassy in Delhi.
It took almost a month for the papers to be ready and the two were then handed over to their new employer, the women told the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) here on their arrival from Delhi on Thursday.
A senior officer told The Indian Express that this was the first case in which any Saudi official or anyone from the Gulf region was likely to be held accountable.
Official data available with the customs department says on an average, four coffins arrive in Nepal with the bodies of Nepali labourers who left their country to work at low wages in adverse conditions. Similarly, women being sexually exploited, committing suicide or suffering from depression often making headlines in the media here.
“But we cannot hold anyone accountable — neither employers nor recruiting agents — because most of the victims leave the country through illegal routes looking for jobs,” the officer said, adding that “none of them register with our embassies there”.
The CIB said it might take a couple of days for it to get to the bottom of the case and arrest the local agent and find all details about the case.
Representatives of Maiti Nepal, an NGO headquartered in Kathmandu and with chapters in Delhi and Mumbai, and Nepal India Janasamparka Samiti too accompanied the victims from Delhi to share information with the Nepali Police.
The victims had shared details of their ordeal with the Nepal embassy in Delhi, which promptly took up the issue with the Ministry of External Affairs leading to the raid on the diplomat’s residence.
“We will be sharing information and available details with the government of India as it is already involved in booking the Saudi diplomat in the case,” an official said.
The victims were rescued from the diplomat’s residence in Gurgaon after a raid on Monday night, police said.
The women, who were hired as domestic help, were allegedly kept as “hostages for more than a month”. Their medical examination has confirmed rape and sexual assault.
The two women were rescued from the diplomat’s apartment in Caitriona Towers, Ambience Lagoon on Monday night.
The raid was reportedly planned after the police received a letter from the Nepal embassy about their plight.