Britain asks India to waive envoy immunity after 'assault'
Britain has asked India to waive diplomatic immunity for a senior diplomat following reports that he assaulted his wife at their London home, the Foreign Office said Tuesday.
Police were called to the home of the envoy, named by media as Anil Verma, last month following reports of a dispute.
His wife suffered facial injuries but the envoy claimed diplomatic immunity after police questioned him and he was not arrested, reports said.
Britain's Foreign Office said it would not tolerate diplomats working in the country breaking the law.
"We can confirm we have formally requested the waiver of diplomatic immunity for a diplomat posted at the Indian High Commission in London," a spokesman told AFP.
"In addition, foreign office officials met staff at the Indian High Commission in London to discuss the matter and to emphasise the serious nature of the allegations.
"British High Commission staff in Delhi also met officials of the ministry of external affairs."
The diplomat allegedly attacked his wife on December 11 in an argument at their home in an upmarket area of northwest London, Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.
Police were called after neighbours heard his wife, Paromita Verma, scream and saw her run out into the street with blood streaming from her nose, the paper said.
The diplomat reportedly became angry by the fact there was a Christmas tree in the house which had been given to the family by one of his wife's relatives.
Paromita Verma has now gone into hiding with the couple's five-year-old son and applied to remain in Britain on humanitarian grounds, added the Mail.
Police in London confirmed they were called to an address in the northwest of the city following reports of an assault.
"A woman suffered a minor facial injury. A man in his 40s was spoken to by officers at the address. There was no arrest," said a police spokesman.
© 2011 AFP