Two days after violence erupted at Mahagun Moderne housing society, residents continued to take a hard line saying they will not bend on the decision banning entry of domestic workers until “concerns relating to their security are addressed”.
“Our primary concern, following what happened on Wednesday morning, is security. Till the time these concerns are addressed, all of us are united on the matter. We are managing household work on our own. There is some amount of inconvenience but we are willing to suffer a little,” a Mahagun Moderne resident, on the condition of anonymity, said.
On Wednesday morning, at least 100 people had gathered outside the gate of Mahagun Moderne in Noida Sector 78 demanding that 26-year-old Zohra Bibi — who works as a domestic help in the society — be produced. Bibi had gone missing on Tuesday evening. Between 5 am and 6.30 am, the crowd — mostly comprising domestic workers and daily wage labourers, who live in a temporary settlement less than a kilometre away — forcefully entered the society, pelted stones, ransacked a ground floor flat and shattered the glass walls of the security guards’ room.
While Bibi alleged that she was beaten up by her employer — private school teacher Harshu Sethi — and confined after she was accused of stealing money. Sethi alleged that Bibi, her husband and unidentified persons accompanying them had forcefully entered their residence and ransacked their house. Apart from these two police complaints, the security guards of Mahagun Moderne and residents had filed two separate complaints in the case.
On Thursday, 13 men from the settlement were arrested in connection with the attack. In the aftermath of the incident, housing societies in the area are also contemplating security measures. “After seeing what has happened at Mahagun, we are holding meetings with residents. We are planning to carry a re-verification process of all domestic workers,” said Prakash Chandra, a resident of Aditya Urban Casa in Noida Sector 78. Another resident demanded that action should be taken by the administration on “illegal occupation” of land “by domestic workers”.