Enslaved Indonesian made sought help of a `witch doctor’

November 14th, 2007 - 10:17 am ICT by admin  
“Please look for a witch doctor to cast a spell. The spell must not be directed at me. This spell is to be cast to the employer. I need help. Please help a thousand times,” The New York Daily News quoted Samirah, 51, as saying in her letter.

Samirah’s July 2006 letter was read out in court on Wednesday at the trial of Varsha Sabhnani and her husband, Mahender, millionaires who are charged with holding two Indonesian servants against their will for years.

Samirah, who says she was desperate to escape beatings, starvation and torture, slipped her letter to a sympathetic employee of the Sabhnanis’ perfume business, which they run out of their exclusive Muttontown home.

The woman, who was not identified, stamped the letter and mailed it for the frail and battered maid.

“I’m not allowed to sleep or eat. In the cold season, I’m not allowed to wear two layers of clothes,” Samirah wrote to her children, who were receiving her 100-dollar-a-month salary.

“You must do midnight prayer if you want your mother to live. You are my only hope. Things were so bad that “if I didn’t have my children, I would have ended my life by taking poison,” she added.

The Sabhnanis say her own dabbling in black magic caused Samirah’s terrible wounds. Samirah testified that she believed Varsha Sabhnani killed one of her sons with an evil spell.

On the stand, the woman who has calmly recounted being scalded, frozen, made to eat chili peppers until she vomited - and then forced to eat the vomit - broke down as she recounted being knifed in the face and bashed in the mouth with a rolling pin.

She also cried when she testified about the dramatic day this May when she fled the house of horrors, sure that she was about to be murdered for forgetting to vacuum.

Lost in the suburbs, confused and frightened in the rain and ducking into bushes when cars passed, she finally stumbled into a Dunkin’ Donuts, where the smell of food and coffee overwhelmed her.

She bought a bagel with a five-dollar bill.

Varsha and her perfume-magnate hubby, Mahender, are on trial in Central Islip for allegedly illegally keeping and torturing Samirah and another employee Enung.

The sensational case on Long Island’s Gold Coast, in the ultra-tony enclave of Muttontown, surfaced in May after Samirah escaped the couple’s mansion and was found disoriented and wandering local streets muttering, “Master.”

Samirah, speaking through an interpreter in court yesterday, recounted how she was allegedly forced to walk around the house naked. At one point in court, she got down on her hands and knees to demonstrate how she scrubbed the floors three times a day. (ANI)

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