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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

World

Teenage maid beaten to death by employer in Pak
PTI
Lahore/Karachi, January 20, 2014
First Published: 19:20 IST(20/1/2014)
Last Updated: 19:27 IST(20/1/2014)

A teenage maid was allegedly beaten to death by a professor in Pakistani Punjab while a 12-year-old Hindu domestic worker was injured when he jumped from the sixth floor of a building in Karachi to save himself from his employer, police said on Monday.

Harish Kumar was being questioned by his employer, a doctor named Minhal, and his wife who accused the boy of stealing money. He jumped off the building yesterday to save himself, police officials said.

"Minhal is in police custody but claims the boy slipped and fell from the first floor," police officer Imran Shaukat said.

Kumar, from Mirpurkhas in Sindh province, was brought to Karachi by Minhal to work for a nominal salary. The boy, being treated at Jinnah hospital, said he did not steal any money.

"They were always hitting and pushing him around as he has no relative in (Karachi)," said his friend Sawal.

In Lahore, 14-year-old Fiza Batool died on Sunday after allegedly being assaulted by her employer Salman Rashid, a professor of English Literature at Islamia College.

The girl had been working at Rashid's home for the past few years. The professor claimed the maid used to steal money.

According to police, Rashid confessed that he hit the girl with a blunt object. The assault damaged her kidneys and lungs.

She was brought unconscious to hospital by the professor on Saturday and later succumbed to her injuries.

Rashid claimed he had no idea that she would die, superintendent of police Omer Riaz said. A murder case was registered against the professor on behalf of the state to save the girl's family from any pressure for reconciliation.

A medical board's initial findings showed 13 internal and external injuries on the girl's body.

The girl was apparently abandoned by her parents who have separated.

This was the third such incident in Lahore this month. Earlier, two teenage girls were killed by their employers, and one was sexually assaulted.

Zia Awan, a rights lawyer representing the injured Hindu boy in Karachi, said his employer had committed a crime by keeping him in detention.

"They are many cases like this happening in Karachi. These servants are underpaid and not well looked after...We have been telling police that employers must have their servants registered with the local police station so that we can keep a tab on such persons," Awan said.

Farzana Bari, a well-known rights activist, said employers tend to be violent with their teenage servants, most of whom come from villages to help their families overcome poverty.


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