French envoy accused of abusing child arrested in India

Protesters in Bangalore on Tuesday 19 June 2012
Image caption Protests have been held in Bangalore demanding the French official's arrest

A French official accused of sexually abusing his daughter has been arrested in the Indian city of Bangalore.

The accused, a French consular agent, was arrested on Tuesday morning and faces charges of rape, senior police officer Sunil Kumar told the BBC.

The envoy would be produced in court later in the day, Mr Kumar said.

The official was questioned on Friday after his Indian wife alleged he sexually abused their three-year-old. The envoy has made no comment as yet.

"The arrest was made after we got clearance from the [Indian] ministry of external affairs and home ministry," Mr Kumar said.

He said the envoy did not have diplomatic immunity and would be tried in India.

The wife of the envoy has written to the French ambassador in India and the Indian government, calling for her husband to be prevented from leaving the country until all legal proceedings are complete.

She has also asked the French Embassy for financial support for herself and her three children, who are French citizens.

On Monday, demonstrations were held outside the consulate demanding the arrest of the official. Police briefly detained the protesters.

As the protests grew louder, the French Consulate-General in Bangalore issued a press release saying it would cooperate with the investigating authorities.

"A complaint had been lodged regarding the rape of a minor girl who is a French national," the release said.

"The complaint names the father of the child, who is a consular agent of this Consulate-General. An investigation is under way for which this Consulate-General is extending its full cooperation with the police and the authorities in charge.

"It remains also in touch with the family of the child," it added.

The complaint was lodged on Thursday night, after the envoy's wife approached the Bangalore-based non-governmental organisation, Enfold India, for help.

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