India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today expressed in strong words her condemnation of an incident in Saudi Arabia in which an Indian woman’s right hand was chopped off by her employer.
On Twitter, she said, “Chopping of hand of Indian lady – We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia.”
The foreign minister added that the incident was unacceptable and that the embassy was in touch with the victim.
The MEA said on Thursday that India has asked for severe punishment for the Saudi national who committed the crime.
Chopping of hand of Indian lady – We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) October 9, 2015
Kasturi, 50, is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Riyadh, her sister Vijayakumari told The Indian Express from their home in Vellore district. “We are told that the incident happened on the night of September 29 after she complained about torture and non-payment of wages by her employer. He chopped off her hand when she tried to escape from the house through the balcony. Some neighbours and others took her to hospital,” Vijayakumari said.
In a video uploaded by a visitor at the hospital in Riyadh, Kasturi is seen asking to be sent back to India. It also shows her describing in Tamil how she tried to jump off from the balcony using a saree. “This is the first time she has gone abroad for work. She was promised a salary of Rs 15,000 from which the agent was to take his cut because he did not charge any advance,” Vijayakumari said.
She added that Kasturi has four children, including three daughters and a son — her husband and son are farm workers. “She was forced to take up the job abroad as the family was facing financial problems after the marriage of her three daughters,” Vijayakumari said.