Bahrain’s consul-general in India accused of assaulting woman

Mohammed Abdulaziz Al Khaja has been accused of assaulting a woman who manages the apartment complex where he lives in Mumbai.
NEW DELHI // Bahrain’s consul-general in India has been accused of molesting a woman who manages the apartment complex where he lives in Mumbai.

The woman, 49, registered a case against Mohammed Abdulaziz Al Khaja on December 13, four days after the alleged incident. As Mr Al Khaja has diplomatic immunity, the charges have been referred to India’s ministry of external affairs.

He “touched her inappropriately and also hurled abuses at her” during a scuffle after an argument between the two of them, a senior police officer told the The Asian Age newspaper.

The building manager said the incident began when Mr Al Khaja lost his temper over the shutdown of an elevator for maintenance work.

“The building is 40 years old and we were installing a new lift,” she told the Indian Express newspaper. “I kept telling him that technicians were on the job, but he wouldn’t listen. He started to bang on the closed doors of the lift and then ransacked my office and threw books around.”

And he began shouting at her when she asked him to stop what he was doing. In the ensuing scuffle, the assault allegedly occurred.

Prior to the incident, Mr Al Khaja has been living for five years in the apartment complex in a flat leased to the Bahrain Consulate by the state government of Maharashtra.

The three-decade veteran of Bahrain’s foreign service is familiar with India, having attended university in Pune and served as a junior diplomat in the Mumbai consulate from 1984 to 1988.

The Hindu newspaper reported that Bahrain would investigate the matter. Mr Khaja is due to leave India shortly when he completes his diplomatic assignment.

The charges against him follow India’s recent diplomatic spat with the United States over the detention of a senior Indian diplomat.

Devyani Khobragade was arrested in New York on December 12 on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid.

ssubramanian@thenational.ae

Published: December 26, 2013 04:00 AM

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