10/09/2015, 00.00
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Saudi employer severs hand of Indian domestic worker. She was often tortured and abused

The Delhi government protests with Riyadh and demands justice for Kasturi Munirathinam , who has hospitalized in serious condition and also has spinal injuries. No official comment from the Saudi government.

Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) – India’s foreign minister has raised an official protest with the Saudi Arabian authorities, following the "brutal" attack against  a 58 year-old Indian woman in Riyadh. According to local sources, last week her employer chopped off Kasturi Munirathinam’s right hand after she tried to escape from the house where she was employed as a maid.

Ms. Munirathinam was hospitalized and is now being medically treated. Relatives of the woman say that in the past she has been repeatedly subjected to torture at the hands of her employer.

The Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that the government has raised the matter with the Saudi authorities, demanding justice. In a message posted on Twitter the chief diplomat of Delhi said: "We are very disturbed by the brutal manner in which the Indian woman was treated in Saudi Arabia." All this is "unacceptable," he added, while the embassy "is in close contact with the victim."

Munirathinam, originally of Chennai in southern India, worked for three months in the employ of a family in Saudi Arabia. According to local sources her employer was "upset" by her complaints of continued "harassment" in his house. According to her sister, S Vijayakumari, the man was enraged to the point of complaints of  "denying her food”. And when she tried to escape "harassment and torture, he chopped off  her right hand”.

The woman also suffered serious spinal injuries in the episode and is now recovering in a hospital in critical condition.

The family learned of the incident from the "agents" who recruited the woman, sending her to Saudi Arabia to work in the employ of a Saudi family. So far there has been no official comment from the Saudi authorities, while the Indian government assures that "will continue to seek justice for the victim." Delhi calls for an independent inquiry on the matter and that charges of attempted murder be issued against the man.

Every year thousands of men and women leave India and move to Saudi Arabia in search of employment and money, most often finding menial jobs as domestic servants and workers. In recent weeks the case of the two Nepalese women abused for months by a Saudi diplomat in India made headlines.  The man was recalled to Saudi Arabia by the government who did not want to grant the investigation to go forward.

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