Thousands of men and women travel from India to Saudi Arabia each year to serve as domestic servants. Based on how Saudi Arabia appears to treat its maids, perhaps that trend will be changing. On the heels of the news that a Saudi woman potentially faces defamation charges for filming her husband secretly groping their maid, a shocking new story has emerged of a female Saudi employer that has allegedly cut off the hand of an Indian maid who tried to escape her property. Kasturi Munirathnam, 58, the sole breadwinner of a family that consists of an ailing husband, three daughters and a son, arrived in Saudi Arabia two months ago. She was held captive in the house of her employer, burdened with a heavy workload, starved, and refused contact with her relatives in India by phone. After managing to contact someone in her home state of Tamil Nadu, Munirathnam was locked in a room and subjected to physical and mental torture. She attempted to escape through the window of her room, but was caught by her employer who then allegedly chopped off her hand. Munirathnam has been offered the full support of the Indian embassy, and is now in the care of the Tamil Nadu wing of the Indian Social Forum, a group dedicated to the support of Indian expatriates. She is hospitalized in Riyadh and is in serious condition, according to local TV reports. In a series of messages posted on Twitter, Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister of external affairs, condemned the brutal attack and said the Indian government is working with Saudi authorities to investigate.
Read the full story at The International Business Times.