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Police said she was “mentally disturbed,” but made no mention of her being tortured.
Questioning the version of the 55-year-old domestic employee from Vellore whose hand was severed in Saudi Arabia last week, the Riyadh police said her hand had been injured due to a fall and had to be amputated.
In a statement that sought to shift the blame, Riyadh police spokesman Fawaz Al-Maimaan said the maid, Kasthuri Munirathinam, was “mentally disturbed.” Significantly, the police statement made no mention of the allegations of brutality and torture against the employers that led to the maid’s desire to flee and said instead that “she was suffering from mental disturbances and therefore tried to flee the sponsor’s house.”
The statement is in contrast to Ms. Munirathinam’s contention that her hand had been chopped off by her employer while she was trying to escape their brutality.
According to Ms. Munirathinam, the family that employed her in June this year, had been abusive and tortured her. Unable to bear the treatment, she had attempted to leave their third floor apartment by climbing down a rope made from a sari through a window when she was accosted by the woman she worked for. “I pleaded with the lady not to harm me but she kicked me, punched me and cut off my arm,” she said in a taped interview available online.
MEA declines comment
The MEA declined to comment on the Saudi official’s version, saying it was making enquiries from the Indian Embassy in Riyadh. An official described it as an initial police report. “The final investigation report will now be awaited,” the official told The Hindu. The government had initially reacted strongly to the incident, with External Affairs Minister calling the “brutal chopping of a hand” “unacceptable,” as India demanded the “strictest punishment” for the employer. The muted response on Friday seems to indicate diplomats have been negotiating a settlement for Ms. Munirathinam, and officials say they would wait to see whether she wished to stay on in Saudi Arabia to contest the case, or return immediately.
The case of Ms. Munirathinam has outraged many around the world, as it has become a symbol in India of the condition of domestic workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
As The Hindu had reported earlier this month, the MEA has taken a serious view of the fact that KSA remains the only one of 18 Gulf countries refusing to obey Indian guidelines for Foreign Employers (FEs), including a rule on giving bank guarantees to the Indian Embassy. As a result, Ms. Munirathinam’s story is also a test case for the government’s new resolve to hold the Saudi government accountable for the treatment of about 25 lakh Indian workers in the country.
The Riyadh police, who had, according to initial media reports, arrested the employers, now seem to have absolved them of all responsibility.
In the official statement, distributed by the Saudi Embassy in Delhi, police said the arm had been severed when Ms. Munirathinam “lost her balance and fell down, hitting the edge of an electricity generator located on the lower part of the house. This resulted in the severing of her arm on the scene itself.”
Rejecting all the allegations made by “media outlets” and rights groups, the spokesman also said that “all people in the kingdom are equal and enjoy all their rights guaranteed by the law based on the law of Sharia.”
so it was an accident, not an abuse of human rights, chill out everyone, the saudi's never lie.
Turn on thread page Beta
Indian maid whose hand was severed, 'fell down and injured her hand' watch
- Thread Starter
- 18-10-2015 13:02
- 18-10-2015 13:04
That's really dark and shocking.
Not only that something bad happened, but the willingness of the authorities, people in general to just look the other way like she is not even human.
- 18-10-2015 13:22
Right, just like I'm sure those who are beheaded "fell, injured their necks and thus had to have their heads amputated", or those who are stoned "had to have some sense knocked into them, literally".
- 18-10-2015 13:37
Oh, she fell. Like people accidentally fell out of KGB windows and people accidentally fell going down to the cells in Met police stations.