French official held for sexually abusing daughter
Bangalore, June 19 (IANS) Bangalore police early Tuesday arrested French official Pascal Mazurier, 39, on the charge of sexually abusing his minor daughter over the past weeks, a senior police said.
"We have arrested Mazurier and taken him into custody from his residence in the early hours. We will produce him in the court later in the day after medical examination for remand," the city's Additional Commissioner of Police (law & order) T. Sunil Kumar told IANS here.
Mazurier was charged June 15 under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after his Indian wife Suja Jones filed a complaint with police that he had sexually abused their four-year-old child Stella twice in the recent past.
"We got clearance from the external affairs ministry and the union home ministry from New Delhi late Monday for arresting Mazurier. We will seek his custody for interrogating him as part of our investigation into the case," Kumar added.
The French embassy in New Delhi clarified to the Indian government Monday that Mazurier did not have a diplomatic passport or immunity from being tried under the Indian laws for any offence or purported crime.
"The official has a service passport and does not have diplomatic immunity. He is a French national employed in our consulate general in Bangalore," a French embassy spokesperson told IANS from New Delhi.
The French consulate here also assured police of cooperation in the case and of assistance to the family of the child.
"An investigation is under way, for which this consulate general is extending cooperation to the police and authorities in charge. We remain also in touch with the family of the child," the consulate said in a statement.
The rape charge came to light when Jones, who hails from Kerala, approached Enfold India, a non-government organisation (NGO)-based pro-active health trust in the city, for counselling as she was going through a trauma of being a witness to her husband abusing their child over the weeks.
As part of the investigation, police sent the minor to a state-run hospital for examination and a medical report to substantiate the charge against Mazurier.
The couple got married over a decade ago at Port Saint Marie in France and have three children, including two sons, aged seven and 20 months.
On being posted in the consulate, Mazurier moved to Bangalore from France in 2008. He is the deputy head of chancery in the consular section of the French consulate in Bangalore.
Suja also accused her husband of committing domestic violence against her.
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