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The Recent Developments In The Noida Case Show How Complex The Problem Of Domestic Help Is

  • IWB Post
  •  July 15, 2017

 

On July 12, 2017, Noida’s Mahagun Moderne residential society witnessed agitation and stone pelting by a mob over the alleged beating-up of a 26-year-old domestic help by her employers living in that society.

Here’s an update with the employer’s statement.

As a part of an alleged confrontation that happened between Harshu (employer) and Zohra, Harshu claimed that Zohra had stolen Rs 17,000 from her purse recently. When she confronted her about the “theft,” Zohra allegedly confessed to having taken Rs 10,000.

Later, according to Harshu, Zohra ran from the house in a panic and left her phone behind. Harshu further added that she had informed about the incident the society’s facility management staff, who asked her to keep Zohra’s phone.

Talking about the violent protests, Police have arrested 13 men on charges of rioting and vandalizing property at Mahagun Moderne.

Though investigations are still underway, nothing has been officially confirmed whether Zohra had been beaten up by her employer.

However, Zohra’s statement told another story, as earlier reported by the media.

Zohra’s husband Abdul, 32, a migrant worker from Bengal, claimed that his wife did not return home after work on Tuesday evening.

 

“When I went in the evening she started blaming me again, to which I said I am not going to work for you anymore. And I asked for my salary. That is when she started hitting me, after which I don’t remember anything else,” she said.

Zohra also claimed that the husband of the woman who allegedly beat her up — did nothing to stop the abuse.

Noida

Recording Zohra’s husband’s version, he said, “At 8 pm my mother told me she has not come back home. Zohra usually goes out at 7 am, comes back home for lunch, and then goes back to work in the same housing society at 2 pm.”

Though domestic help in the apartment are made to check-in and out on a register every time they enter or leave the apartment, Zohra did not check out of the apartment as told by the guard. “That is when another guard told me that Zohra had been accused of stealing money. I went with the guard inside the apartment but couldn’t find her,” Abdul said.

However, the latest update reveals a significant finding in the probe about an internal camera at Moderne that shows Zohra Bibi — the maid who the mob believed had been held captive and had come to free — being escorted by Moderne’s guards at 6.08am.

This is significant because the mob had already started gathering outside Moderne’s gates around half an hour before that.

A journalist who was on the spot earlier reported that Zohra had been locked up inside a room all day.

This was followed by a series of tweets from the spot by Nilanjana Bhowmick who said that the police had also fired at the group of people who had gathered to look for Zohra.

Contradicting her version, Noida police, said that there was no mention of Zohra being held hostage in the FIR filed by her husband.

Superintendent of Police, Noida, AK Singh, told HuffPost India, “There is CCTV footage that she is walking out of the house of another house where she works. There is no mention of her being held hostage.”

All the confusion surrounding the Noida Case shows how complex the problem of domestic help is. The situation of the four million domestic workers in India, mostly women, minors, and migrants will improve once the ‘Domestic Workers Welfare and Social Security Act, 2010’ Bill come into existence. It will organize things for both the workers and their employers.

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