Silent slaves behind closed doors: Cases of violence against domestic help

SufferingSuffering silently in the upscale and posh areas of our metros, these housemaids have nowhere to go and seek help. (Picture for Representative Purpose: Reuters)

The arrest of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Dhananjay Singh and his wife Jagriti in connection with the murder of their 35-year-old domestic help, Rakhi, has yet again raised concerns about the treatment meted out to domestic workers. Suffering silently in the upscale and posh areas of our metros, these housemaids have nowhere to go and seek help.  

Rakhi's body with brutal injuries on the chest, back, hands, legs and burn injuries on her stomach, was found in Singh's bunglow in New Delhi's South Avenue. The horrific incident comes close on the heels of a case where a 12-year-old was tortured and harassed by an air hostess in Delhi. 

Here's a look at the recent cases where the domestic maids were subjected to brutal torture and harassment

November 2013: 35-year-old domestic help, Rakhi, was found dead with grievous injury marks at BSP MP Dhananjay Singh's bunglow in New Delhi's South Avenue. A 17-year-old boy, who works at the MP's residence, and is an eyewitness, told police that for three days, Rakhi was mercilessly assaulted with iron rods and antelopes' horns. Rakhi's body had brutal injuries on the chest, back, hands, legs and burn injuries on her stomach, police said. She reportedly died on Monday morning. Jagriti was arrested on charges of murder,  while Dhananjay was charged with destroying evidence.

October 2013: A 12-year-old girl was illegally confined, tortured and harassed by her employer, an Air India air hostess. The girl from Senapati district in Manipur escaped from the apartment in Delhi's Netaji Nagar. Narrating her plight, she told the police she was assaulted with a belt and that her employer used to scare her with a dog. The girl had bruises on her face and hands at the time she escaped using a ladder. She claimed that her employer would slap her, even slam her head against the wall if she found her asleep or resting.

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