An Indian domestic help has been admitted to a Riyadh hospital in a critical condition after her right hand was chopped off allegedly by her female employer. India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has reacted strongly to the report and sought "strict action" and "severe punishment" from the Saudi government against the employer.
Identified as Kashturi Munirathnam, 58, the woman hailing from India's southern state of Tamil Nadu, was trying to escape the employer's house on 29 September after she complained to officials that the family she was working for ill-treated her. In a fit of rage the employer allegedly chopped off her hand.
"I pleaded with the lady not to harm me but she kicked me, punched me and cut off my arm," the victim said in a video posted on a social networking site.
Her family back in India has also alleged that she was burdened with a heavy workload and was subjected to mental and physical torture including not being given access to food. Munirathnam is the sole breadwinner of her family, which comprises of her ailing husband, three daughters and a son.
"Our Embassy in Riyadh has taken up the matter with the Saudi Foreign Office and asked for strict action in the matter and severe punishment for the sponsor. We have also sought an independent probe in the incident and urged that a case of attempted murder be lodged against the sponsor so that he is punished, if found guilty as per law," said Vikas Swarup spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs in India.
Meanwhile the Al-Sahafa police in Riyadh, which was initially investigating the case, handed over the probe to the General Intelligence Directorate (Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah), the foremost intelligence agency in the kingdom because of the heinous nature of the crime.