A Pakistani-origin member of the House of Lords in the UK, Lord Nazir Ahmed, has been charged with attempted rape in connection with incidents dating back to early 70s, the police said today.
Ahmed, who is often at the forefront of anti-India campaigns including backing separatist Kashmiri and Khalistani outfits in Britain, has been charged with two counts of attempted rape and one count of indecent assault dating back to the 1970s and is due to appear at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on March 19.
The alleged victims of the 61-year-old are reported to be a girl and a boy aged under 13 at the time.
The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Ahmed was charged with indecently assaulting the boy in 1971-72, when he himself was aged 14 to 15, and he is alleged to have committed the two attempted rapes in 1973-74, when he was aged 16 to 17.
The police said that Ahmed was charged alongside two other men from Rotherham in South Yorkshire — Mohamed Farouq, who is charged with four counts of indecent assault, and Mohammed Tariq, charged with two counts of indecent assault.
"They were charged via postal requisition on Thursday (February 28, 2019) and are all due to appear at Sheffield Magistrates Court on Tuesday (March 19, 2019)," South Yorkshire Police said.
Ahmed did not comment on the latest charges, which come weeks after he was embroiled in accusations last month of using his position to exploit vulnerable women who came to him seeking help.
He had denied any wrongdoing at the time or acting "inappropriately" towards women. "I take my duties as a Parliamentarian extremely seriously and would not act so as to undermine my personal or professional reputation," he said in a statement.
Ahmed was born in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and moved to the UK in 1969 with his family to join his father, who was working in steel factories in the town of Rotherham in South Yorkshire region of northern England.
He joined the Labour Party in 1975 at the age of 18. In 1998, he became one of the first Muslim peers when he was appointed to the House of Lords by then Prime Minister Tony Blair. He resigned from the Labour Party in 2013 amid controversy and has been an independent peer in the House of Lords since.