Mumbai: Employer arrested for 19-yr-old maid's suicide from posh Jogeshwari high rise
The parents of the girl who committed suicide, said in their statement to the police, that she was harassed and wanted to quit
The Meghwadi police have arrested Nitin Khanna, the employer of the 19-year-old maid, for allegedly instigating her to commit suicide. His wife Hina may be arrested today. The maid's parents have alleged she was harassed and not paid and wanted to quit.
On June 25, Jyoti Patekar, who was employed with the Khannas for over a year as a full-time maid, allegedly fell to her death from their apartment on the 18th floor of Oberoi Splendour at Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road.
A source said that she was immediately shifted to Holy Family Hospital by the residential complex ambulance, but declared brought dead. Her body was shifted to Siddharth Hospital for post mortem. Later the body was given to her family, however, they and domestic workers working in the same residential complex had refused to take it, and protested outside the police station demanding legal action against the Khannas.
On Wednesday evening police booked the Khannas under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 34 (common intention) of IPC. Zone DCP ND Reddy said, "We registered a case and have arrested Nitin Khanna. We will act against Hina Khanna. The investigation is on."
Complained of harassment
A source said Jyoti's parents, Archana and Harishchandra Patekar, in their statement to police, said that she had returned to their home in Rajapur, Ratnagiri, on May 17. During her stay she complained of harassment and excess work, and her desire to quit the job. She also said she had not received her salary for three months. However, Hina Khanna requested her to continue till Diwali. And on her insistence, she returned to work on June 10.
The statement said that on June 25, Archana, received a call from Hina who told her that Jyoti had been caught stealing valuables, and asked her parents to come to Mumbai and take her back. Hina also asked how much money Jyoti had carried with her while returning to Mumbai. Her mother replied that she had given her Rs 10,000. Hina disconnected the call. At 7.30 pm Hina called up Jyoti's aunt Rajshree Sawant in Nalasopara, and told her about the theft.
Rajshree replied that if Jyoti was guilty then Hina could hand her over to police or terminate her job. But Hina told her that she will destroy Jyoti, and if she tries to leave the job, then the video showing her stealing will be put on social media. Rajshree said the accused has cameras in their home. At 9.33 pm Hina called up Rajshree and informed her about Jyoti's death. Rajshree called up Jyoti's parents on the morning of June 26, asking them to come to Mumbai.
Archana Patekar said, "I have lost an obedient and responsible daughter. My loss is irreversible." Despite attempts to do so, this reporter was unable to connect with Hina Khanna on her mobile.
Not allowed to socialise
Rachna Patekar, a relative of Jyoti, said that Jyoti was not allowed to socialise with anyone, not even with the other maid of the house. "Jyoti was a simple girl, and the theory of her stealing is just a cover-up for their crime," she said.
Another relative, Shruti Shingre, also a domestic servant, had referred Jyoti for this job. "She was not someone who would steal. She was not allowed to step out of the house or talk to anyone. When she was employed with the Khannas, she was a minor," she said. Jyoti is survived by her parents and siblings, Gaurav and Shruti. They reside in Rajapur and are farmers. Nitin Khanna is a business head in a bank, while Hina is a housewife.
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