NEW DELHI: A teenage girl working as a maid in here was recovering in hospital yesterday after being rescued from a home where campaigners said she was slashed with knives and mauled by dogs.
Police said they had arrested her employer, a 50-year-old woman who lives with her 85-year-old mother in the upmarket Vasant Kunj area of southern New Delhi, on suspicion of illegal confinement and assault.
“It is horrible and barbaric,” Kiran Walia, Delhi’s minister for women and child development, told reporters after visiting the 15-year-old in a city hospital where she is being treated for multiple injuries.
The girl, from Jharkhand, reportedly told police after her rescue on Monday night that she had been working with her employers for the past year and was unable to leave.
“Such a heinous crime has happened to this girl. The whole head was smashed, the whole body, dog bites are there,” Rishi Kant, from the anti-trafficking campaign group Shakti Vahini, told the NDTV news channel.
“In this house they are well off, they are not poor people,” he added after a joint operation with police to rescue the maid.
A crowd of onlookers gathered outside the four-storey residential block yesterday as news of the rescue operation spread, with locals saying the two women were known as unpredictable and frequently involved in neighbourhood disputes.
“I heard shrieks yesterday while I was walking in the park. Then my maid came running to me and said ‘There is something wrong in that house, come with me’,” said Achla Bhandari, a resident in the middle-class neighbourhood. “We both rushed there and tried to peek through the windows,” she added. “I was horrified when I saw her.”
Neeraj Kumar Yadav, a Vasant Kunj police inspector, said the 45-year-old employer was in policy custody. Charges would not be pressed against her elderly mother on account of her age, he said.