Saudi employer chops off Indian maid's hand

New Delhi: A Saudi sponsor has chopped off an Indian maid's hand, evoking strong condemnation from India, which demanded that a case of attempted murder be lodged against the culprit.

"We are aware of the plight of Kashturi Munirathinam, a domestic help who has suffered serious injuries allegedly inflicted by her Saudi Arabian sponsor. This is a very unfortunate and most condemnable incident.

"Our Embassy in Riyadh has taken up the matter with the Saudi Foreign Office and asked for strict action in the matter and severe punishment for the sponsor. We have also sought an independent probe in the incident and urged that a case of attempted murder be lodged against the sponsor so that he is punished, if found guilty as per law," the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

Munirathinam is currently being looked after in a Saudi hospital, he said. "India also proposes to take up this issue in the JWG on Labour Matters with Saudi Arabia which will be held in New Delhi on October 12-13 and is the established institutional mechanism for such matters," the Spokesperson said, adding, "We will continue to seek justice for the victim."

Asked about an update on the condition of three Indians including two teachers, abducted near war-torn Libya and held hostage by the Islamic militant group ISIS, the Spokesperson said they have received a video evidence of their being "alive" as recent as September 27 and they were making all efforts to secure their release.

He also said that there was no ransom demand for their release.

Maid's hand chopped when she tried to escape harassment: Family

Chennai: The family of a 55-year-old woman, working as a domestic help in Saudi Arabia, has alleged that
her right hand was chopped off by her employer when she tried to escape harassment and torture.

Seeking help to bring Kashturi Munirathinam back from Saudi Arabia, the family has sent representations to the state and central governments. DMK MP Kanimozhi has also sent a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj seeking her help in this regard.

"When she tried to escape harassment and torture, her right hand was chopped off by the woman employer. She fell down and sustained serious spinal injuries," S Vijayakumari, sister of Munirathinam, told PTI. She said Munirathinam had gone to Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic help only three months ago.

"Kasturi's employer was angered after she apprised local officials about the harassment she was facing there, she was not even provided food," she said. Asked how the family got to know the incident, Vijayakumari said it was "through agents who sent her to Saudi."

The attack occurred on the intervening night of September 29-30, she said. "She has now been hospitalised in Riyadh and is in a serious condition, our appeal is please bring her back home immediately and help in her treatment," she said.

While Munirathinam's sister lives here, her family is in their village Moongilarei in Vellore district in Tamil Nadu. In her letter to Swaraj, Kanimozhi said the condition of the victim was deteriorating and sought help to bring her back to Tamil Nadu.

"Steps should be taken to bring home Kasturi as soon as possible, I appeal on behalf of the victim's family," she wrote.

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