Row over domestic help turns violent in Noida

In her complaint, Bibi alleged she had not been paid for the last two months. She alleged that around 5 pm, when she was at Sethi’s house, her employers accused her of stealing money.

Written by Aditi Vatsa | Noida | Updated: July 13, 2017 4:24 am
domestic help beaten, noida domestic help beaten, mahagun morderne maid beaten, maid beaten, noida sector 78 protest, maid protest, indian express news, delhi news As security guards stopped the crowd from entering the society, a clash ensued and stones were pelted. The windows in the guards’ room were shattered.

On Wednesday morning, residents of Mahagun Moderne society in Noida’s Sector 78 woke up to 100-150 people gathered at their gate, pelting stones at the society, ransacking the security guards’ room, and making their way up to flat number 012. At the centre of controversy was the ‘disappearance’ of 26-year-old domestic help Zohra Bibi, who had been in that flat till Tuesday evening.

Between 4 am and 6 am, the crowd outside the society swelled as Bibi’s family was joined by her neighbours and friends, many of whom also work as domestic helps in the area. “We asked security guards to let us enter as she had been missing since 5 pm on Tuesday. We knew she had gone to Mahagun to work, but she never returned home. We feared she was dead,” said Bibi’s brother-in-law Muzaffar.

As security guards stopped the crowd from entering the society, a clash ensued and stones were pelted. The windows in the guards’ room were shattered.

Around 6 am, however, Bibi appeared at the gate, accompanied by security guards. “We asked them to keep her inside till police reach. She was taken to the district hospital by police for a check-up, and then taken to Sector 49 police station, where we lodged a complaint. After that, we took her home,” Muzaffar said.

An FIR under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 342 (wrongful confinement) was registered against two residents of flat number 012 — merchant navy officer Mitul Sethi and his wife Harshu Sethi, a teacher.

Read | Domestic help beaten: New chorus after clashes; ‘keep the Bangladeshis out’

“Two versions of the case have come to us; we are trying to ascertain which one is true. Bibi has alleged she was beaten up and confined in the house after being accused of stealing money. But her employers alleged that while she stole from them, they did not confine or assault her,” said Love Kumar, SSP Gautam Buddha Nagar.

In her complaint, Bibi alleged she had not been paid for the last two months. She alleged that around 5 pm, when she was at Sethi’s house, her employers accused her of stealing money. “I don’t remember much of what happened after that. Madam slapped me and beat me, after which I lost consciousness. I was at their house till midnight. Afterwards, I went and hid in the basement because I was scared. The next thing I remember is security guards taking me to the gate,” Bibi told The Indian Express.

However, the couple, who were not available at their home on Wednesday afternoon, issued a statement maintaining that they had confronted their “Bangladeshi maid who does cleaning” over Rs 10,000, which had allegedly been stolen from their house. “We told her we have a video of her stealing money. She accepted and asked us to adjust it in her salary. We refused and said we will report her to the facility as she can do this in 12 other houses in Mahagun too. She insisted that we not inform the facility as she will lose work… When asked to come to the facility, she ran away, which will be captured in the CCTV, too. She left her phone at my home,” the statement read.

The statement also addressed the violence: “They came in groups… entered my house by breaking the door glass. It was terrifying. This concerns our security… and I am afraid about the safety of my family and kid.” The family also claimed they hid in the house and later fled to a relative’s residence.

When Bibi did not return home on Tuesday, her family informed police.

On Wednesday evening, another FIR was registered at the Sector 49 police station under IPC sections 147 (rioting) and 427 (mischief causing damage) based on a complaint filed by Sethi, police said. “The second complaint has alleged that some people barged into their flat and ransacked the house. They also broke windows,” said Parshuram, SHO of Sector 49 police station.

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  1. M
    Jul 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm
    i can believe that this maid is lying,i have faced such situation,where my maid stole my gold earring, which i found from her clothes,she was telling everyone that i have done all this to take her out of this job.this is story is fully plotted by maid zohara and her husband.these maids are very smart these days,it is people like us who in name of donation and charity help them,stop any such help,they do not deserve.
    1. L
      Jul 14, 2017 at 10:00 pm
      Now, these MAIDs will not get any jobs in gated appartments. Because of some issues which could have been settled peacefully, now these maids have to starve and suffer. An Employer will always prefer a peaceful workers. Perhaps some of the RWAs have already taken decision in this regard not to employ these alien maids
      1. L
        Jul 14, 2017 at 6:15 am
        The local residents know well. IE should give correct report only. Other Channels are giving correct reports.Now these maids will starve, in Noida no known person will employ them. Once under police scanner, nobody will employ these rowdies as maids. It is not first time this is happening .Any employer always wants peaceful servants not rowdies. In a matter of few hours they were able to organise themselves and turned violent. In Noida these apartments /societies /RWAs are to blamed for employing these people.
        1. A
          Jul 13, 2017 at 2:31 pm
          It's not always rich vs poor.The poor have become very smart now.Look at her story, she was slapped by madam,and lost consciousness,and can't remember much.Later she hides in ba t because she is afraid!If she was afraid she would have run to security,or to her home.Loss of memory very convenient for adding details later.Only a minority of rich abuse maids by hitting or slapping them.These maids will raise hue and cry if anyone attempted that.Fortunately wife was there,otherwise an attempt to rape can be easily added.Some write-ups are portraying these workers as weak and powerless.Do you call a crowd of 150 who ransacked a block where there were security guards weak.Try getting more than 5 rich neighbours to go to workers place to accuse her of theft?Am glad society banned the group.You need unity against such blatant use of force. A single person is powerless against a large marauding group such as this.Cases should be slapped on those who vandalised the compound.
          1. K
            Jul 13, 2017 at 10:43 am
            Elite vs poor, God only knows who is right.
            1. L
              Jul 13, 2017 at 11:06 am
              Here Bangladeshis are problem. Not elite vs poor.
            2. L
              Jul 13, 2017 at 8:54 am
              Local RWAs should not employ such people. A disaster waiting to happen. Prevention is better than cure. There have been such complaints in the past also
              1. S
                Jul 13, 2017 at 8:42 am
                Even if women is at mistake whole country will come for simpathy of women even law will give exparty orders in favour of women, total biased following cons ution is a big mokery of law.
                1. H
                  Jul 13, 2017 at 8:25 am
                  Why did it take so long for the police to verify the CCTV footage and issue a statement that would put several speculations at rest. NOONE can simply barge-in into a house and create ruckus. The society has rightly banned the said community maids from getting employed within the society. Tomorrow it may happen to anybody. Instead of approaching the society management, they preferred pelting stones and take matter in their hands. If they feared her dead then how come pelting stones would come to settle the situation. How come the mob got so much time to enter society and ransacked the flat, a PCR is just a call away (I really hope).
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