Noida police had to intervene after the local villagers barged into the premises of Mahagun Moderne in Noida’s Sector 78 on Wednesday morning to protest against the alleged beating up of a domestic help by one of the residents. The protesters, reportedly neighbours of the woman, claimed she was allegedly confined at her employers’ house earlier.
Video footage accessed by The Indian Express, showed security guards of the society and the protesters pelting stones at each other. In another clip scores of angry villagers can be seen forcing themselves past the security of the society with sticks in hands.
The protesters, it is learnt, had begun trooping inside the society at 7 am. They had also reportedly blocked the Dadri-Surajpur-Chhalera (DSC) road at Barola, leadind to halting of traffic near Noida Phase 2 Industrial Area. A police posse has been deployed outside the apartment after the incident and trying to bring the situation under control. Superintendent of Police (city) Arun Kumar Singh was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying that the protesters were angry over the domestic help allegedly being beaten up.
A Facebook post identified the help as 26-year-old Zohra. The post claims that Zohra was missing for a day following a fight with her employer and was finally found in the boot of her employer’s car. Indianexpress.com has not yet been able to verify this claim. She is currently in hospital undergoing treatment for her wounds, the post adds.
Zohra is originally from Cooch Behar, but has been working in NCR for almost 12 years, it is learnt.
Meanwhile, according to Zohra’s husband, Abdul Sattar, the 26-year-old had left her house to work like every other day in the morning. “But unlike other days, she didn’t come home for lunch. By 4 pm, we got worried and went to the apartment complex to look for her. There the security guard told us that she had entered in the morning at 7 am, but the security registered didn’t know show her leaving.”
Zohra and Abdul Sattar are both from Cooch Behar in Bengal and have been living in Noida for over a decade, the police said, while confirming that allegations claiming that she was an “illegal Bangladeshi migrant” is false. The police also added that both had valid identity documents, including Aadhaar cards. Before the incident, a message was circulated in the society’s WhatsApp group by her owners which claimed she had “stolen money” and when caught about it had asked to “adjust in her salary”. The post adds, “she insisted not to inform” others in the society as she would “lose work”. Afterwards, she had “run away” at around 5:30 pm. “At 9 pm, 2 ladies…came to my home with husband of the maid and 2 guards” asking about Zohra’s whereabouts.
According to the post, Zohra had left her mobile phone behind at her employer’s home while fleeing. “Around 10:30 her husband came again with 2 policemen at my home…He was asking me that where is his wife”. Her employer told the police and her husband that she wasn’t there and the police asked her husband to file a complaint, claims the post.
Abdul Sattar, though, has denied these allegations. He told Indian Express, “My wife was beaten up and confined after they accused her of stealing. She didn’t return home all night and she had been badly beaten up. She is in the hospital being treated.”
According to Gautam Buddh Nagar Senior Superintendent of Police Love Kumar, investigations are ongoing and an FIR is being lodged. “There are two versions of events and the matter is being investigated. But claims that she is an illegal Bangladeshi migrant are completely false. She has all necessary documents.” Officers added that they are scouring through the CCTV footage to ascertain the exact sequence of events.