A 13-year-old domestic employee was rescued from a flat in Bhor Towers on Kanchpada Road in Malad (W) on Tuesday. Not only was he beaten up badly by his employers, Faizal Samson and his lover Sheetal, but was starved for several days, frequently tied up and confined to a room, the police said.
The boy told the police that he was made to fetch liquor for his employer and to massage his legs late at night. He said that he did not know how to cook, but Samson and Sheetal forced him to do so. Every time the food was burnt, they forced him to eat it. He said they tried to throttle him several times for minor mistakes.
There were bruises on his hands and legs, the result of a thrashing the previous night, when the police found the boy.
The incident came to light when Bal Prafulta, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), received a call informing them about the atrocities. “The caller, who didn’t identify himself, told us that the child was frequently beaten by the couple,” said field officer of the NGO, which immediately contacted the police.
The boy told the police that he came to Mumbai along with his brother-in-law from Uttar Pradesh four months ago. They stayed at a friend’s house in Andheri for a few days, after which his brother-in-law got him the job at the residence of Samson and Sheetal, who has a 13-year-old son.
The couple had leased the flat and rarely interacted with anyone in the building.
“We frequently heard a boy scream, but assumed that it was Sheetal’s son. It was only when the police arrived that we lear-nt what was going on,” said a resident on condition of anonymity.
When the police reached the house, the couple was not at home. They have been absconding since then.
Senior Police Inspector R Prabhu said: “A case has been registered against the couple for criminal intimidation, unlawful compulsory labour, causing hurt and illegal confinement. They have also been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act.”