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  • Maid slashed with knives,mauled by dogs
  • NEW DELHI (AFP) – A teenage girl working as a
    maid in India's capital was recovering in hospital Tuesday after being rescued from a home where campaigners said she was slashed with knives and mauled by dogs.
    Police told AFP 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.
    The 15-year-old's injuries have cast a spotlight
    again on the abuse of domestic servants in the
    capital where thousands of workers, often
    children trafficked from remote and poverty-
    stricken states, toil for long hours in homes with
    almost no legal protection.
    "It is horrible and barbaric," Kiran Walia, Delhi's
    minister for women and child development, told
    reporters after visiting the victim in a city
    hospital where she is being treated for multiple
    The girl, from the eastern state of 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, adding she had also been
    slashed with knives.
    "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 on Tuesday as news of
    the rescue operation spread, with locals saying
    the two women were known as unpredictable
    and frequently involved in neighbourhood
    "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."
    She and other neighbours said the two women
    kept five dogs and often had street dogs roam
    inside their home.
    Neeraj Kumar Yadav, a Vasant Kunj police
    inspector, told AFP 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.
    In April last year police arrested a wealthy doctor
    couple who locked up their 13-year-old maid
    while they went away on holiday. She was
    rescued by firefighters when neighbours spotted
    her crying on an outside balcony.
    "Rich people are willing to pay any amount of
    money to get servants who can clean their
    houses, survive on left-over food," campaigner
    Kant told AFP recently.
    "Illegal placement agencies offering housemaids
    have mushroomed in every city across India."
    "The rich employers are specifically looking at
    children because they come cheaper, complain
    less and can be exploited."
    In 2006 India passed legislation banning
    employment of children under 14 in households,
    roadside eateries and hotels, but the law is
    widely flouted in the country of 1.2 billion

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