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14-year-old kept as a maid, tortured with hot tongs, cut with sharp instruments, Gurugram couple arrested

Premiliary investigation revealed that the child could not sleep the whole night. She was not given food and was forced to eat leftovers from the dustbin. Her mouth was completely swollen, and her whole body was covered with injury marks.

On February 7, a joint team of Gurugram police and Sakhi, a one-stop crisis centre, rescued a 14-year-old girl from New Colony, Gurugram. As per reports, the child hails from Jharkhand. She was brought by a couple, Manish Khattar and Kamaljeet Kaur, to take care of their infant girl child via a placement agency. The couple tortured her for not completing work, did not give her food for days, assaulted her with hot tongs and batons and cut her with sharp instruments. Police said she was allegedly sexually harassed by the accused for months.

Speaking to OpIndia, Pinki Malik, centre-in-charge of One Stop Centre (OSCs) in Gurugram, said she received an anonymous complaint regarding the girl being tortured at an address in New Colony. She filed a complaint with the police immediately and took the help of the PCR to rescue the girl.

She said, “The girl was admitted to the hospital for treatment. A complaint was filed by me against the couple. The investigation into the matter is underway. I will be meeting the girl again today. The girl was found in miserable condition, and it will take days to heal.” Reports suggest several injuries were found on her hands, feet and mouth.

Premiliary investigation revealed that the child could not sleep the whole night. She was not given food and was forced to eat leftovers from the dustbin. Her mouth was completely swollen, and her whole body was covered with injury marks.

An FIR has been registered against the couple under sections 323(causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and the POCSO Act at New Colony police station. The police immediately arrested Manish, but Kamaljeet was let go for the night as per the procedure. As per law, a woman cannot be kept in lockup during the night. She was handed over to Manish’s brother and was called back to the police station in the morning.

Speaking to OpIndia, Inspector Dinkar, SHO, New Colony Police Station, said, “The husband was arrested last night. We are confirming all the aspects in the matter, and necessary action will be taken as per the law.”

How the matter unfolded

Filmmaker and activist Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj narrated how she came to know about the girl and things unfolded later. In a Facebook post, she said on February 7, she received a call from a known in the morning. The person told her about a 14-15-year-old girl working as a maid who the employees were brutally torturing. She sought help on Twitter, but nothing concrete came out of it.

Then, Bhardwaj approached Preeti Bhardwaj Dalal, Vice Chairperson Haryana Women Commission and told her about the matter, who then informed Preeti Malik about the matter. Within a few hours, the girl was rescued.

She wrote, “They beat her up, burnt her with a hot tong, cut her with blades and assaulted her from whatever object possible as visible from the pathetic condition of the girl. She wasn’t given food to eat and looked for something to eat in the dustbin. Her MLC was done late in the evening, so the exact nature of injuries is yet to be clear, but you can see the pictures here to know what was being done to this girl.”

Deepika also tagged the owner of the PR firm where Kamaljeet worked. Replying to her tweet, Udit Sagar Pathak, founder of Media Mantra, said that Kamaljeet was immediately terminated from her job. He said, “We are against any kind of child exploitation/brutality. If a wrong has been committed, we fully support the judicial system to do justice.”

“As an organisation, we have decided to sack Kamaljeet Kaur with immediate effect,” he added.

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Anurag
Anurag
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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