Looking to clear his name, axed diplomat pines for his children

PascalPascal Mazurierís discharge application is pending. (IE Photo: Jyothi Karat)

Pascal Mazurier cannot forget the last time he saw his elder son. The date was June 14, 2012, and he was preparing the seven-year-old for school. As always, father and son watched the city shake off its slumber and waved to each other as the school bus drove away. Neither took the goodbyes seriously. "I wish I had hugged him more that day," Mazurier says now. In the next few hours, the then deputy head of chancery at the Consulate of France, Bangalore, would watch his life come undone. His wife of 11 years, 39-year-old Suja Jones, would accuse him of repeatedly raping their then four-year-old daughter. Swept up in the march of events, he would be peremptorily branded a criminal, a demon undeserving of a family or a career. Despite the lack of evidence against him, he would be suspended from work, jailed for 122 days, and refused the right to visit his three children.

For the past year and a half, Mazurier, 40, has parried blows from all directions, but what bothers him most is that news of his children hasn't reached him for several months now. They go to school and live with their mother in a gated community on the outskirts of Bangalore. "I miss being submerged by their demands, their questions, their energy. I used to help them with their homework, teach them how to eat or tie their shoelaces. When I see children in my neighbourhood now, I automatically wonder where my little ones are, what they are doing right now. I miss their voices," Mazurier says. "I can't forgive myself for marrying Suja."

His discharge application is pending in the criminal court for 10 months and the case has been heard by two judges already. Hopeful, Mazurier goes to every hearing. "I look at the picture of Mahatma Gandhi and I silently ask him to make justice prevail," he says. He is eager to set foot in France, visit his relatives and spend time with his 91-year-old grandmother. "I recently lost a grandfather and I was stuck here. I should have gone to his funeral. I am very angry, this is not my life, and I don't belong in court halls," he says.

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