The family of a 55-year-old Indian woman, working as a domestic help in Saudi Arabia, has alleged her right hand was chopped off by her employer, with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday describing the assault as “unacceptable”.
Kashturi Munirathinam’s hand was allegedly chopped off on the intervening night of September 29-30 when she tried to escape harassment and torture, said her sister S Vijayakumari.
Chopping of hand of Indian lady - We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) October 9, 2015
Seeking help to bring Munirathinam back from Saudi Arabia, her family has sent representations to the state and Central governments. DMK MP Kanimozhi has sent a letter to Swaraj seeking her help.
On Friday, Swaraj tweeted the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia was in touch with Munirathinam.
“Chopping of hand of Indian lady – We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia,” she tweeted. “This is unacceptable. We have taken this up with Saudi authorities.”
This is unacceptable. We have taken this up with Saudi authorities.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) October 9, 2015
Vijayakumari said Munirathinam went to Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic help three months ago.
“When she tried to escape harassment and torture, her right hand was chopped off by the woman employer. She fell down and sustained serious spinal injuries,” Vijayakumari told PTI.
“Kasturi’s employer was angered after she apprised local officials about the harassment she was facing there, she was not even provided food.”
The family learnt about the incident from “agents who sent her to Saudi”, Vijayakumari said
“She has now been hospitalised in Riyadh and is in a serious condition, our appeal is please bring her back home immediately and help in her treatment,” she said.
While Munirathinam’s sister lives in Chennai, her family is in Moongilarei village of Vellore district in Tamil Nadu.
In her letter to Swaraj, Kanimozhi said Munirathinam’s condition was deteriorating. “Steps should be taken to bring home Kasturi as soon as possible, I appeal on behalf of the victim’s family,” she wrote.
(With inputs from PTI)