Maid accuses Saudi employer of chopping off hand

Maid accuses Saudi employer of chopping off hand
2 min read
09 October, 2015
India's foreign ministry vows justice after an Indian domestic worker in Saudi Arabia says her employer chopped off her right hand when she complained about poor working conditions.
Domestic workers in Saudi Arabia can face appalling abuse [AFP]

An Indian domestic worker in Saudi Arabia has claimed that her Saudi employer chopped off her right hand after she complained about poor working conditions, India's foreign ministry has said.

Kashturi Munirathinam, from Tamil Nabul is currently being treated at a hospital in Riyadh, her sister Vijayakumariv told Indian media.

"We are told that the incident happened on the night of September 29 after she complained about torture and non-payment of wages by her employer," Vijayakumari told the Indian Express newspaper. "He chopped off her hand when she tried to escape from the house through the balcony. Some neighbours and others took her to hospital."

Munirathinam is also believed to have suffered spinal injuries when she fell from the balcony while trying to escape.

The 55-year-old woman travelled to Saudi Arabia three months ago to work as a cleaner in a house in the eastern city of Dammam, and then in Riyadh. She was paid about $230 a month.

Sushma Swaraj, India's foreign minister, said on Twitter that the situation was "unacceptable" and had been taken up with the Saudi authorities.

Her sister told the Indian Express that Munirathinam has four children - three daughters and a son - and that her husband and son are farm workers.

"She was forced to take up the job abroad as the family was facing financial problems after the marriage of her three daughters," Vijayakumari said.

Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs, said that the government would pursue justice for Munirathinam.