Indian appeals court acquits Iranian aid worker of manslaughter charges

March 25, 2017 2:26 pm

Iranian charity worker Narges Kalbasi Ashtari (C) is seen with Indian children.

A
young Iranian charity worker, who has been embroiled in a criminal case
in India since 2014 over the death of young boy, says she has finally
been cleared of manslaughter charges following a lengthy court battle.

In
a post on her Telegram Messenger channel, Narges Kalbasi Ashtari wrote
she had been acquitted of all her charges by an Indian appeals court.
According
to the post, Kalbasi Ashtari has also been given the right by the court
to seek compensation for the hardships she has gone through since 2014,
when she was barred from leaving India amid her court battle.
She further thanked her compatriots as well as authorities for standing by her all through the legal process.
Reacting
to the report, Iranian Foreign Minister took to his Instagram page to
offer congratulations to Ashtari and express gratitude for the public
campaign in support of the  charity worker’s cause.
Kalbasi
Ashtari, 28, had been convicted of “involuntary manslaughter” in 2014,
when a five-year-old boy disappeared during a riverside picnic organized
by the 28-year-old Iranian charity worker in India’s eastern Odisha
State.

Iranian charity worker Narges Kalbasi Ashtari (C) is seen with Indian children.The boy belonged to a couple, who worked for Ashtari and were also present at the scene when the child went missing.
Indian
public prosecutor Sachidanand Khardanga had claimed the 2014 incident
occurred on the negligence of Ashtari, the head of the Prishan charity
foundation.
Ashtari had been sentenced to a year in jail for causing the death, a charge she strongly denied.
In
an interview with Press TV last year, Ashtari said she would “appeal to
court,” stressing her determination to keep up the “fight for rights of
children.”
The Iranian-born
activist grew up and went to school in Britain. Ashtari’s parents both
died due to an incurable disease, so she decided to dedicate her life to
serving orphans.
On December 28, 2016, Foreign Minister Zarif vowed that Tehran would use all its capacity to secure the release of the activist.
The
founder of Prishan orphanage home in the Rayagada district in Odisha,
Ashtari is considered a mother to numerous under-privileged children in
India.

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