India: Saudi Employer Cut Off Maid's Arm

Attack was revenge for complaining of mistreatment
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2015 7:23 AM CDT
Activists of the All India Democratic Women's Association shout slogans during a protest outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in New Delhi, India.   (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

(Newser) – Indian diplomats say they are disturbed by reports that one of their nationals working in Saudi Arabia had her arm cut off by a vengeful employer. The family of 58-year-old Kasturi Munirathinam says that when Saudi officials conducted a routine check of the home where she was working as a maid, she complained of mistreatment, which led the woman of the house to attack her after officials left, the Times of India reports. Indian officials say Munirathinam is recovering in hospital. They have complained to the Saudi government about the "very unfortunate and most condemnable incident" and have asked for the attacker to be severely punished, reports CNN.

Munirathinam's son tells the BBC that she had been harassed and "tortured" by her employers. "Ever since she went to work with this family in July, things were not all right. My mother was not even allowed to speak to us over the phone, she was not given proper food, and was forced to work long hours," he says. Her sister tells CNN that Munirathinam, who went to Saudi Arabia after the family faced financial difficulties, had complained to officials about mistreatment and not being paid. The employer has been arrested and Indian officials, who have vowed to pursue justice for the victim, want the Saudis to charge her with attempted murder, the BBC reports. (A Saudi wife who posted footage of her husband sexually harassing their maid could go to jail for "defaming" him.)

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