Swaraj seeks report from Odisha govt on Iranian woman facing criminal case

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sought a report from the Odisha Government about a case relating to an Iranian-origin British charity worker who has been charged with causing death of a tribal child due to negligence.

28-year-old Narges K Ashtari, who runs an orphanage through her NGO Prishan Foundation in Rayagada district of Odisha, has been detained following allegations of causing death to the child.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif recently said that Iran will use all its capacity to secure her release.

“I have asked for a report from Government of Odisha reg the case of Narges K Ashtari. @BorisJohnson @JZarif,” Swaraj said in a tweet, drawing attention of her intervention in the case to Zarif as well as British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.

An online petition by social activists has recently sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi s intervention in seeking justice for Ashtari, saying she has dedicated her life in serving orphan and abandoned children around the world.

“The Foreign Ministry considers it its duty to protect Iranian nationals residing abroad, including students, elites and businessmen,…and will use all its capacity to support them and restore their rights,” the Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif was quoted as saying by Iran’s Press TV.

Also read: Rayagada: Iranian woman awarded 1yr jail term in drowning case

He said the Iranian Foreign Ministry and Iran’s embassy in New Delhi are following up on her case through diplomatic, consular and legal channels.

Born in Isfahan, central Iran, Ashtari’s parents moved to the UK when she was four years old.

She faced the charges after the disappearance of the child in 2014, who is feared drowned.