14-year-old maid alleges torture for seven months

January 30th, 2009 - 12:48 am ICT by IANS  

Noida, Jan 29 (IANS) A 14-year-old girl who worked as a house maid here has alleged that she was physically tortured by her employers for the past seven months. The girl (name withheld) was rescued Wednesday evening after the city magistrate on a complaint from an NGO asked the police to intervene and bring her before the court. An FIR has, however, not been lodged yet.

According to sources, the young maid bears multiple cut marks, abrasions and burns on her body. Her hair, too, was cut by her employers over some trivial matter.

“I was brutally beaten up even over little things. On Saturdays and Sundays, when they both remained at home, I lived in utter fear. On other days, they locked up the drawing room from outside so that I could not go anywhere,” the girl told IANS.

At a marriage function in the neighbourhood, the girl, who hails from from Siliguri in West Bengal, shared her plight with some people, who contacted an NGO. The NGO brought the matter to the notice of the city magistrate.

Sanjay Chauhan, the city magistrate said: “The girl has denied any physical torture in her statement before me. Still, I have ordered a medical examination of the girl. Her age verification would also be done as she told us that she is 16 but she appears to be 14. If she is below 14 years, the employers would be prosecuted for child labour. Also, the employers would be prosecuted for paying her less money.”

The girl was paid Rs.1,500, while the Minimum Wages Act of the state government fixes the minimum wage at Rs.3,250, NGO activists said.

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