India denounces Saudi chopping, will seek justice

New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) India on Friday termed as “unacceptable” the chopping of an Indian domestic worker’s hand by her Saudi Arabian employer and said it will pursue justice for the Indian woman.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said: “We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which the Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia.

“This is unacceptable. We have taken this up with Saudi authorities. Our embassy is in touch with the victim.”

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the Indian mission in Riyadh had visited Kasthuri Munirathinam in the hospital and her situation was currently stable.

“Our mission in Riyadh is actively pursuing the matter with the Saudi authorities.

“We had raised the issue on October 7 itself with the ministry of foreign affairs and asked for strict action in the matter and severe punishment for the sponsor.”

He said the Indian mission officials had met the chief as well as the investigating officer of the police station and requested that the woman’s statement be recorded without further delay, an independent probe be launched into the incident, and a case of attempted murder lodged against the Saudi national.

The Saudi employer should be also directed to pay for her treatment. The police had assured Indian officials “a speedy and fair investigation”, he said.

Swarup said the ministry and the Indian mission were monitoring the status of Munirathinam and were in touch with her family to extend necessary support to overcome this difficult phase.

“At the same time, we continue to pursue the matter at all levels with Saudi officials to ensure speedy justice for her.”

Munirathinam, from Mungileri village near Katpadi in Vellore in Tamil Nadu, lodged a complaint with the Saudi government that she was being ill-treated and not fed properly by her Saudi employer.

After that, the employer attacked her. She was reportedly trying to escape from the house where she had been confined when she was caught by her employer and her arm chopped off.

Munirathinam is currently admitted in the Kingdom Hospital in Riyadh.

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