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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Vasant Kunj case: locals heard her scream but didn’t have courage to help

Faizan Haidar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 02, 2013
First Published: 00:22 IST(2/10/2013) | Last Updated: 00:26 IST(2/10/2013)

Residents of Vasant Kunj used to hear her scream but could do little to help her. The domestic helps who used to work in the area tried to talk to her too but she was too scared to speak.

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Finally, it was an RWA member who mustered courage and informed the NGO, Shakti Vahini, about the suspected abuse of a domestic help at flat number 1178 of Pocket B of Sector A in Vasant Kunj.

The NGO members said they cried when they first saw the girl’s condition.

“We had to wait for four hours to gain entry to the house. The girl has three-inch deep wounds on her head. The injuries on her body were beyond description,” said a member of the NGO.

Neighbours claimed her employer, Vandana Dhir, who has been arrested, used to shout at them whenever they tried to intervene. “People were scared of talking to her. She was very rude,” said Amit Aggarwal, a resident of the area.

“My domestic help used to tell me that Dhir’s domestic help was not allowed to go outside and they used to hear her scream time and again. The domestic helps of the area were even planning to rescue her,” said Achla Bhandari, a neighbour.

Representatives from the social welfare department of the Delhi government, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the labour department visited the girl and assured her of all possible support.

Due to confusion over her age, the police have requested for a bone ossification test to confirm if the rescued domestic help is a minor.

Sources said Dhir hired the girl through a placement agency at Kotla Mubarakpur. She was in Delhi for the past three years and earlier used to work at Lajpat Nagar.

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