Diplomat transferred from London after wife-beating charges

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New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) Senior London-based diplomatAnil Verma, accused of assaulting his wife, has beentransferred back home with immediate effect and is likely toface action.

Verma, a 1986-batch IAS officer of the West Bengalcadre and third-ranked diplomat in the Indian High Commission,found himself in trouble when his wife covered in blood wasfound screaming by neighbours on December 11.

When the police arrived, 45-year-old Verma, Minister(Economic) in the Indian mission, claimed diplomatic immunityand escaped action.

Sources said Verma has been transferred to Delhi withimmediate effect and may face action which will be based onthe findings of the probe into the allegations of assaultagainst him.

In London, when contacted about MEA''s directive, theIndian High Commission said, "at this stage, we have nocomment to make". Verma was not available for comments.

Verma allegedly attacked his wife after a heatedargument last month, Daily Mail had reported.

A British daily today reported that Verma''s wife,Paromita was found screaming with blood coming out of hernose. Her clothes were covered in blood and she had grabbed atea towel to stem the flow.

The ''Daily Mail'' also reported that Paromita has goneinto hiding with her five-year-old son as she fears for herlife. She left the home soon after the incident and has notreturned since then.

"Throughout their time over here, Anil would boastabout his diplomatic immunity and he would tell Paromita thatno one could touch him because of it. He would goad her andsay, ''Call the police as many times as you want. I''ve gotdiplomatic immunity''.

"He was shameless with it. He has been given so muchpower and he is abusing it. Paromita has gone into hiding andseriously fears that her safety and health are in jeopardy,"a close family friend of the Vermas was quoted by the Britishnewspaper as saying.

Paromita, who is working with Indian Railways and ison study leave, wants to remain in the UK on humanitariangrounds amid fears that she would be forcibly taken back toIndia. She has now sought extention of leave, a the dailysaid.

Verma is the third senior-most in the Indian missionafter the High Commissioner and the Deputy High Commissioner.

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After the incident came to light, the MEA had said the High Commission of India and the Ministry were aware of it andwere carefully looking into it.

"It involves sensitive and personal issues pertainingto individuals," it had said.

Recollecting the day of incident, Verma''s familyfriend was quoted by the daily as saying in London, "Anilsuddenly blew up on the morning of the incident. He was in hispyjamas and suddenly flew into a rage over the fact that therewas a Christmas tree in the house that had been given to themfrom one of Paromita''s relatives.

"He stormed up the stairs to grab the tree and throwit out but Paromita followed and tried to stop him becausetheir son had been decorating it. He suddenly turned round andpunched her full in the face, very hard. Paromita almost felldown the stairs but grabbed on to the bannister to steadyherself.

"She was screaming and blood was pouring from her noselike a tap. Her clothes were covered in blood and she grabbeda tea towel to stem the flow. Anil did not say a word to herand did not seem to care. He started shouting at Paromita''smother, who was also in the house, abusing her too.

"The front door was open and Paromita ran outside,where her neighbours found her. They called the police and anambulance also arrived at the scene. Neighbours took her intotheir house to comfort her until the police arrived," thedaily said.

Police were called to the family''s home in GoldersGreen, NorthWest London. Officers questioned the diplomat butthey were powerless to arrest him because of his diplomaticstatus.

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