Hyderabad maid dies in Saudi Arabia due to alleged torture, alleges family

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Hyderabad–A woman from Hyderabad, who was working as maid in Saudi Arabia, has died due to alleged torture by her employer, her family said.

Asima Khatoon (25), who had gone to Saudi Arabia in December last year, died at King Saud Hospital for Chest Diseases in Riyadh on May 2 but her family here came to know three days later.

SAUDI FlagThe Indian embassy in Riyadh on Monday started making efforts to know about the cause of the death while some NRIs have come forward to make arrangements to send the body back.

Abdul Rahman Ali Mohammed, the employer, was also summoned by the embassy officials. He claimed that she was not well since her arrival in the kingdom and was suspected to be suffering from tuberculosis.

Asima’s family, however, disputed this saying she had undergone all the medical tests as required under the rules before her departure.

Her mother Ghousia Begum told IANS on Monday that Asima had been making phone calls to tell her about the tortureand pleading her to rescue her.

“If you can’t get me out of here now, when will you do that. After my death?,” were the last words of Asima to her mother last month. Fifteen days later, she died.

Ghousia feels her daughter could have been alive today, if Indian authorities had acted in time.

“She was being denied water and food and was confined to a room from morning to evening. The employer used to flog her for not doing the work,” she said.

The body bore the injury marks, indicating that she was tortured, said Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) leader Amjadullah Khan Khalid, who through her contacts in Riyadh, obtained pictures and videos of the body.

“I approached the police station in March but they took no action against a woman and others who had sent my daughter abroad,” Ghousia said sitting in cellar of a building in Dabeerpura in the old city of Hyderabad where she works as maid.

Police say Muskan, the woman who had sent Asima abroad, is not traceable.

G. Ramesh, inspector of Rein Bazar police station told IANS that he had called Muskan and she had promised to bring Asima back.

The police officer said after they, through the NRI cell in state secretariat, sent a letter to Indian embassy in Riyadh early this month, seeking help in repatriation of the woman.

“We are yet to get a response,” said the officer adding that the authorities can’t do much if somebody goes abroad “unofficially”.

Asima had also signed an agreement that if she leaves the job before two years, she will pay Rs.1.5 lakh to the employer or his agent.

Coming from a very poor family, Asima was divorced by her husband within two months after the marriage. She along with her mother used to work as maid in few houses before they met Muskan, who offered her the job in Saudi Arabia for a monthly income of Rs.20,000.

Ghousia Begum wrote a letter to the Indian ambassador in Riyadh, requesting for an investigation into the cause of the death and for arrangements to send the body to Hyderabad.

“I want justice. The people both here and in Riyadh responsible for my daughter’s death should get the punishment,” she said.

Khalid demanded NRI Affairs Minister K.T. Rama Rao help Ghousia in filing a case against the employer.


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