Bangalore 14-year-old maid not allowed to wear clothes at home

Hemanth Kashyap

Posted On Monday, January 04, 2010 at 12:04:34 AM

The 14-year-old maid rescued last week from her employers, who allegedly used to torture her, has told police that she was made to work in the house without clothes.

Software engineer Pallabh Chakraborthy, who works in Infosys, and his wife Sinchita were arrested following a joint raid on their flat by members of Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA), who were tipped off about the torture, and the police on Dec 29.

The maid The condition of the girl, who is from West Bengal, was so bad that she had to be immediately admitted to the ICU of Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH). Among other things, the couple had allegedly poured boiling oil on her back.
But, what left the police and the child rights activists shell-shocked was the girls claim that the couple forced her to walk around the house without clothes.

The girl, who barely manages to speak, told doctors and investigators: “I was not given any clothes by the couple. They used to molest me. They wanted me to stay without clothes. He (Pallabh) used to ask me to remove the clothes and Sinchita madam also didn’t say anything about it. She told me to listen to her husband. I used to wear just a panty all day. Only if somebody came home did the couple give me a long top. Initially, when I refused to remove my clothes, they used to hit me. Sometimes, I have covered myself with a bathing towel. I used to get up at 4.30 am and work till midnight. They used to give me one meal every day. I used to sleep without clothes, on a carpet. They didn’t give me a bedspread or a sheet to cover myself.”

Police plan to add Section 354 (outraging the modesty of women) of the IPC to the charges against the couple.

Investigations revealed that Sinchita had poured hot oil on the maid on Christmas after she was pinned to the ground by her husband. The couple later took the girl to a hospital, but reportedly told the doctor that it was an accident.

Sinchita HSR Layout Sub-inspector Mirza Ali, who is investigating the case, said, “The girl told us that the couple did not allow her to wear clothes and how she was tortured. We will be adding all the relevant sections of the law in the chargesheet.”

Her claims have been communicated to the Karnataka State Commission for Child Protection (KSCCP).

Commission member Mamatha M R said, “The girl told doctors in Indira Gandhi hospital that she was not provided clothes and was expected to move around without clothes in the house.”

Commission chairperson Neena Naik said, “We are awaiting the medical report before preparing our case against the couple.”

Meanwhile, child rights activists are upset that the couple, who have been booked for wrongful confinement, threatening and child harassment, have obtained bail. They plan to stage a protest on Monday.

According to the police, the couple moved to Bangalore a few years ago. They brought the girl, who used to live with her grandmother in West Bengal, 15 months ago. As the girl wanted to study, the couple brought her to Bangalore by promising to send her to school and look after her like their own child

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