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Saudi Arabia: India demands justice for maid mutilated by her boss

Victim attacked while trying to flee from brutal mistreatment

INDIA’S government demanded justice yesterday after an Indian maid working in Saudi Arabia had her right arm severed by her employer.

Kasthury Munirathnam from Tamil Nadu is in a serious condition in hospital after her boss maimed her in revenge for revealing the slavery-like conditions in which she was kept.

Her sister Vijayakumari said the mother of four “was forced to take up the job abroad as the family was facing financial problems after the marriage of her three daughters.” She said the employer had subjected her sister to mental and physical torture and refused to pay or even feed her.

When Ms Munirathnam decided to escape and inform the authorities about her mistreatment on September 29, she was subjected to the horrific attack.

Her boss inflicted the injury as she was trying to flee the house through the balcony, her sister said.

“She fell down and suffered serious spinal injuries. Some neighbours and others took her to hospital,” Vijayakumari added.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she was “very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which an Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia.”

Ms Swaraj added that the Indian embassy was in touch with Ms Munirathnam.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said New Delhi would “continue to seek justice for the victim.

“Our embassy in Riyadh has taken up the matter with the Saudi Foreign Office and asked for strict action and severe punishment,” he said.

“We have also sought an independent probe in the incident and urged that a case of attempted murder be lodged.”

The incident is not the first case of Saudis abusing female employees. In September, a Saudi diplomat left India after being accused of imprisoning and raping two Nepali maids.

And, earlier this month, a Saudi woman who posted a video of her husband sexually harassing a maid on the internet was charged under the kingdom’s privacy laws.

- The death toll in last month’s hajj disaster in Mecca could be as high as 1,462, far more than Saudi Arabia has admitted, if the latest figures released by the victims’ home countries are added together.

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