"You think I will feel sympathy at the sight of your blood? Go and wash it off if you want to eat at all tonight.”
This is what Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Dhananjay Singh's wife Jagriti Singh usually said to her employees after leaving them bloodied from a beating, her 17-year-old house help has told the police in his statement.
Singh, 29, was arrested along with her husband, Dhananjay Singh, 38, on Tuesday, a day after their 35-year-old maid Rakhi died, allegedly after one such beating. A city court has remanded the couple in five-day police custody.
Investigating officers also revealed on Wednesday that Singh, a dentist with RML hospital and a mother of a four-year-old, was taking anger management treatment for the last 18 months. Her “psychiatric problem”, they said, was one of the factors that had led to her husband filing for divorce seven months ago.
Giving more details of the inhuman treatment meted out to them, the boy told the police, “Three to four days ago, in Rakhi’s room, she (Singh) shoved an iron clothespin in my mouth and twisted it till my lips got cut and blood started oozing out.”
“Whenever we started bleeding, bhabi used to say ‘I don’t feel sympathy at the sight of blood, go and wash it off’. We did as we were told, begging her not to hit us again,” the minor’s statement, which has been submitted at a city court, reads.
The littlest things set Singh off, he told the police, adding that she even had CCTVs in the toilets to keep an eye on them.
“She never allowed us to step out of the house, and locked us in when she was away. We were warned that there were guards posted on both the front and rear gates who would shoot us if we tried to go out.”
On Wednesday, a court sent Jagriti and Singh to five-day police custody in connection with the murder of their maid and repeated physical abuse of a minor domestic help.
"The alleged offences are of very serious nature. The accused persons have been arrested on Tuesday and for the recovery of the case property and in aid of the investigation, five days police custody remand is desirable,” the court ruled.
The police had sought seven days remand for recovering the objects with which Jagriti had assaulted the duo and footage from CCTV cameras installed at the house.
Additional public prosecutor Mukul Kumar told the court that one of the maids, Meena, was severely injured and is currently being treated at a hospital.
Jagriti has been booked for murder, attempt to murder and for employing and assaulting a juvenile. Her husband, a Lok Sabha MP from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh, was booked for concealment of evidence.
The couple had been estranged over domestic differences and had reportedly filed for divorce seven months ago.
This is the third time in less than a month that the capital city has seen a case of brutality against domestic helps making headlines. An airhostess was recently arrested for allegedly assaulting her 13-year-old domestic help. In another case, a senior executive in a multinational firm was jailed for brutally assaulting her teenage servant. The incidents underscore the government’s failure to enforce a law it brought earlier this year to end brutality against domestic helps, which are common in Indian cities but are rarely reported.