Not leaving New Zealand because of allegations: Indian envoy

Wellington, June 27 (IANS) India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Ravi Thapar on Saturday said he was not leaving the country because of assault allegations against his wife but because he wanted to take care of his mother living in India.

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Thapar’s wife has been accused of physically assaulting a domestic help at their residence. He has denied the allegations and said his wife was an “experienced diplomatic spouse” incapable of assaulting an “able-bodied man”.

“I’m going but to take care of my mum because my dad passed away last year. I cannot keep up 13,000 km away just talking to her on the phone,” The New Zealand Herald quoted him as saying.

Referring to the alleged assault charges, he said: “You must understand that people who are not exposed, people who are not educated, people who are sometimes first-timers abroad, who have heard of these will use this opportunity sometimes to get sympathy from other agencies.”

According to earlier media reports, a man spoke to the police through an interpreter on May 9 and alleged that he was physically assaulted by Thapar’s wife.

Police said the domestic help did not want to take the matter further and wanted to go home. The staff member left New Zealand on May 28.

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