Saturday, 10 October 2015  -  26 Dhul-Hijjah 1436 H
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Indian maid loses arm: Riyadh police vow swift and just action

Last updated: Saturday, October 10, 2015 12:27 AM


Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — The Indian domestic help, who lost her arm following a bid to escape her allegedly abusive sponsor, is on the path of recovery at a Riyadh hospital where she underwent a series of surgeries.

“I’ve spoken to the doctors who have been treating her, and they told me that all surgeries were successful and she is recovering quickly, indicating that she would be able to travel back to India soon,” said Nautiyal, first secretary, community welfare at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh.

“I met Kasturi Munirathinam today (Friday) again and found her in a better condition,” he added.

The domestic help, 58-year-old Kasturi, was trying to escape from the house where she worked, when she lost her arm in an incident on Tuesday.

Kasturi, who had complained about her sponsor’s harassment and abuse, alleged that the sponsor chopped off her right arm when she tried to escape after being locked in. Kasturi hails from Vellore in Tamil Nadu and was employed by her sponsor only three months back.

India has recorded its strongest protest and asked the Saudi authorities to take action.

"This is unacceptable. We are very disturbed over the brutal manner in which the Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia," Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj tweeted Friday morning.

The Indian Embassy is taking all possible measures to ensure a speedy end to the issue, and are following up on all avenues, Nautiyal told Saudi Gazette in a telephonic call.

The embassy, through diplomatic channels, has lodged a strong protest and condemnation with the authorities and is working to ensure that Kasturi recovers quickly and justice is served.

“I’ve personally met the police chief and the investigating officer at the Safa Police Station, where the case has been lodged, and handed to them our written complaint and Kasturi’s statement. I recorded Kasturi’s statement on the 7th of this month, in which she alleged that the employer abused her and cut off her hand when she tried to escape,” Nautiyal said.

The police chief, he said, has promised a swift and just end to the case. “We (the embassy) have requested the authorities and the police chief to take strict action against the sponsor and punish her if found guilty,” Nautiyal said, adding, “The sponsor, in her defense, is alleging that the loss of the hand and the series of other injuries were the result of her (Kasturi’s) fall.”

Kasturi’s family in Tamil Nadu had earlier told the Indian news agency PTI that, "Kasturi's employer was angry after she told local officials about the harassment she was facing there. She was not even provided food."

S. Vijayakumari, Kasturi’s sister, was quoted by PTI as saying, "When she tried to escape the harassment and torture, her right hand was chopped off by the woman employer. She fell down and suffered serious spinal injuries."

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