India-Carlos Dahn, a Ministry of Finance employee and student in India, is being probed by Punjab police for allegedly raping a Liberian student.
According to reports, Carlos, who is thought to be in his 30s and is studying at the Gulzar Group of Institutions (GGP), moved to India in 2021 to study Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and was detained from his Punjab residence by The Khanna Police.
He is still held in custody while the police undertake more investigations that will lead to legal procedures.
The Stage Media has information from sources that Carlos wed in India on January 1, 2023, and that while there with his wife, he allegedly committed the crime.
According to a TSM source, the victim now has some audio recordings of Carlos pledging to provide her money as restitution for his actions after allegedly abusing her.
The survivor’s story
The Indian Express, in its February 17, 2023 edition, said Carlos threatened the survivor to remain quiet, or he would kill her.
“Fearing threat to her life, the girl had gone to Delhi and registered a complaint at the Shahbad Dairy police station against the perpetrator,” the police report in the Indian Express.
The case is now at the Khanna police station, the local police center.
In her complaint, the survivor accused the offender of raping her at his house after offering to locate her an apartment because he was her agent.
The India Express quoted the police report as saying, “The survivor in her complaint narrated that she arrived in India on December 27, 2022, and enrolled as a science student at a college in Sangrur.”
Since the college in Sangrur lacks basic facilities, she wanted to change her college and came in contact with the accused through her uncle, who thought the accused would have helped her find a better college and trusted him as he was also from Liberia.
The survivor said that the accused then took her to show another college in Khanna of Ludhiana district, and her family sent some money so that she could find a place to stay. Accordingly, when she told the accused to find her a flat (room or apartment), he told her to stay with him till he found a place for her.
“I called back home on the night of January 17 and made my parents speak to Carlos and his wife, and the couple told her parents that she would stay with them only for one night and they would find accommodation for her the next day itself,”the survivor told the police.
However, according to the woman, the accused started making excuses because he was busy or there was no flat (apartment) available whenever she asked him to find accommodation for her.
“After a few days,” the survivor said, “The accused started sending me inappropriate texts such as ‘I love you’ and I told him that I was not interested in him,” she furthered.
She said on February 3, the accused and his wife left for the college where they studied. After some hours, the accused returned home when she was alone at the house and raped her, adding, “When I refused, he forced himself on me and raped me.”
Speaking to different sources in Punjab, TSM established that the reported rapist case had caused enormous challenges for African students, especially Liberians in Punjab.
“We are already having existing problems in Punjab with Indians so Carlos’ action has increased the problem,” says a Liberian student who refused to be named.
The Stage Media source said, “Indians are asking Africans to leave their homes because they are saying they cannot trust us to live in their homes with their women.”
There are mixed views about the incident amongst Liberian students in India.
Others think the girl was wrong, while some believe she did nothing wrong by reporting the incident to the authorities.
Another source said, “As for me, I think the girl did the right thing to report because some girls have respect for their pride. You can not have your wife living with you in the same house and forcing someone to have sex with you all because you are helping her.”
Some are siding with the accused, while others, unsurprisingly, are sympathetic to the woman who was reportedly raped. Several rebut, “But look at her physical makeup; how was she raped? It is not a minor thing to rip that girl’s clothing.
Others are also accusing the leadership of the Association of taking sides.
Since the alleged rape tragedy news was released, the Association of Liberian Students in India (ALSI) chat room has been a hotbed of dispute.
Due to the mixed views, the students are divided to the point that the students Association has two group chats.
One is ALSI which is the old group chat, while the other is ALSI-All Liberian Scholars in India.
The Association (ALSI) denounced the conduct in a statement issued by its President, Bob James Flomo, but expressed solidarity for both the survivor and the perpetrator.
“It is become a tough moment for us as leaders because the two students need our support on whatever side they are,” the Association release said.
The Associations said, “While it is true that our Liberia and the world take severe actions against perpetrators of rape, we as leaders also condemn such acts, and we feel no one should ever be forced against their way for sex.
“As leadership, this matter has reached us, and we are trying to do some probes to ensure both sides get the justice they need.
However, we do not also convict the perpetrator because there are ongoing legal proceedings, and we hope to follow along,” ALSI release said.
“Given the above, we request all students to kindly preserve further comments and personal opinions leading to judgment on the two persons involved.
We are trying to manage this from the angle of our leadership before the wrong information goes out. We plead with all students to kindly eradicate the posting of the links to this matter until there is a ruling. Let’s also pray for our colleagues involved,” the Association said in their release.
By: Hannah N. Geterminah