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Trafficking whiff in domestic help’s suicide in Bengaluru

On the night of April 2, Phoolmuni was found dead on the ground floor of the complex.

Written by Santosh Kumar R B | Bengaluru | April 7, 2017 3:07:45 am

Bengaluru police have detained the employers of an 18-year-old domestic help who jumped to death on April 2 after accounts of neighbours suggested she was harassed by the chartered accountant and his dentist wife.

The police have slapped IPC sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) against Vishal Dutt and his wife Garima Grover on the suspicion of a possible trafficking racket.

Officials of a supposed HR firm in Delhi that sent Phoolmuni Muram of Assam to work in the east Bengaluru complex have been arrested. Phoolmuni was hired by Dutt and Grover to look after Dutt’s 70-year-old mother.

On the night of April 2, Phoolmuni was found dead on the ground floor of the complex. She is suspected to have jumped from a balcony of the ninth-floor flat where she lived with the family after being brought to Bengaluru two years ago.

Preliminary questioning has shown that Phoolmuni had not gone home even once since she was employed. Initially, the police took up a case as one of suspicious death but have now included the IPC sections 306 and 370.

During investigation, the police found out that the Delhi-based HR firm Milan Enterprises sent Phoolmuni to Bengaluru.

DCP (Whitefield division) M Narayana said probe had revealed that the family harassed their domestic help.

“We have questioned the employers and they said they don’t know the girl’s parents. The girl had not gone home since coming to Bengaluru two years ago. Her parents too had not visited her,” a senior police officer said.

Phoolmuni’s family is poor and has expressed inability to come to Bengaluru to identify the body, a police officer said. The police here have written to their counterparts in Assam to help the family travel to Bengaluru.

A police team that was sent to Delhi to obtain details about the girl and to investigate the HR firm have detained a few people from Milan Enterprises. They will be brought to Bengaluru for further questioning, the police said. “We have arrested a few people from Delhi. More details will be shared on Friday,” an officer said.

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