S Arabia puts condition to let maimed maid return to India

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 05, 2015 00:42 IST
Family members of Munirathinam Kasthuri, the Indian maid whose hands were chopped off by her Saudi Arabian employer for complaining against poor work conditions. (HT Photo )

There is no end in sight for the ordeal of an Indian maid whose hand was chopped off by her Saudi Arabian employer last month for complaining against poor work conditions.

Munirathinam Kasthuri, hailing from Tamil Nadu, wants to return to her village but sources said her sponsor was making a condition that India cannot meet — withdrawing the case of assault — for giving an exit visa to her.

India is not willing to let go of the case, arguing justice should be done to the Indian national, who had undergone a brutal assault. “We are seized of the situation and are in talks to resolve it”, an official told HT.

Under the Saudi rules, the employer or sponsor has to grant the exit visa.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had said India was “very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which an Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia”. Following this, Indian embassy in Riyadh lodged a protest with Saudi foreign ministry.

Sources said Saudi authorities are not willing to admit that the maid’s hand had been chopped off by her employer and instead say that the mishap happened when she “jumped off from the house”.

According to Kasthuri and her family, the employer had resorted to the savagery after being enraged over her complaining of poor working conditions.

Recently, a Saudi Arabian diplomat posted in the capital who was accused of repeatedly raping two domestic helps from Nepal had gone scot-free after Saudi Arabia refused to withdraw his diplomatic immunity.

Moreover, Saudi had termed the complaint “baseless” and lodged protest with Indian government over Gurgaon police raiding the diplomat’s flat, which they said went against the principles of Vienna convention dealing with diplomatic immunity.

After refusing to cooperate with the probe, the diplomat had left India.

Saudi Arabia is home to largest number of Indian passport holders outside India. Though dates are not finalised, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit the kingdom -- the largest source of Indian oil export in the near future.

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