Indian diplomat enjoys license to wife-bash

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Anil Verma
London, Jan 10: This was a case of extreme high-handedness by an Indian diplomat who has been accused of assaulting his wife. The accused Anil Verma, a senior Indian diplomat in the London High Commission is dodging prosecution in London by using his diplomatic immunity.

Verma has been in the plum post since 2007 and his portfolio includes ensuring good economic relations between India and UK. He has also served as the private secretary to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as well as been an ex-foreign minister. He is a senior bureaucrat from the West Bengal cadre.

The wife-bashing came to light when the Daily Mail newspaper reported that neighbors of the Verma household heard Mrs.Verma's screams in the otherwise quiet Hampstead Garden in the suburb area in the north-west part of the British capital. The neighbors apparently informed the police who later paid a visit to Verma's house. After initial questioning by the Golders Green police personnel, they couldn't proceed the case further as Verma enjoyed diplomatic immunity. The Scotland Yard informed the matter to the British foreign ministry.

"At 9.30 am on December 11, following reports of an assault at an address at Corringham Road, NW11, a man in his 40s was spoken to by officers. No arrests were made," revealed the Scotland Yard spokesman.

"We are carefully looking into the incident. It involves sensitive and personal issues pertaining to individuals. It is premature to make any further comment at this stage. It is now expected that this matter will be resolved between husband and wife to their mutual satisfaction," said a spokesman for the Indian mission on the domestic altercation.

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