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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Delhi: employer kept domestic help naked to stop her from fleeing, held

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 01, 2013
First Published: 13:39 IST(1/10/2013) | Last Updated: 11:03 IST(2/10/2013)

A senior executive with a French engineering firm was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly torturing her 15-year-old domestic help who was rescued a day earlier with severe head wounds, bite marks all over the body and a badly swollen face.

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A resident of south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj, Vandana Dhir, who is the country communications director, Alstom India and South Asia, has been ordered in police custody for a day.

The teenager, who was working for Dhir for four months, was naked when she was rescued with the help of an NGO, Shakti Vahini, neighbours said. Dhir didn’t allow the girl to wear clothes so that she couldn’t escape. Her head was bleeding and some of the wounds were infested with maggots.

Dhir, 50, lives with her 80-year-old mother and they have two dogs. It is not known if the girl was bitten by the dogs.

Alstom refused comment.  “At Alstom, we have a very high value system and though we do not interfere with somebody’s personal matters, we are observing the developments closely… let things become clear and then we would be able to comment,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

Dhir told the police that the girl fell in the bathroom and injured herself. But the girl, who is from Jharkhand, told labour department officials that she was abused several times and was not allowed to speak to anyone, said a source.

“She has a cut on her scalp, lots of bruises on her face, neck and hands. She is admitted in the emergency, but is out of danger,” Safdarjung Hospital medical superintendent Dr BD Athani said.

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