Indian couple arrested for locking up maid (13)


Sanjay and Sumita Verma are accused of locking up and beating their 13-year-old maid, highlighting the fact that many wealthy Indian households are flouting a ban on employing children under the age of 14.



An Indian couple have been arrested for locking up their 13-year-old maid while they went on vacation to Thailand.

The Indian Express says that doctors Sanjay and Sumita Verma from the eastern city of Dwarka were arrested on their way to hide at a relative's house, a week after returning from their break.

They are accused of illegally confining and assaulting the maid, and have been remanded to two days police custody, ND TV reports.  Their lawyer has denied the charges against them, claiming they had spoken to her by phone everyday and that she had access to the intercom.

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The Hindustan Times describes how the maid was rescued from the apartment by fire fighters when neighbors reported seeing a girl crying on the balcony.  The Vermas had left four days earlier, and the maid is said to have told police that she had only been left her food for two days. She also alleged that the family beat her, gave her only two chappatis a day to eat and didn’t pay salary.

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Following the discover, an Interpol lookout notice had been issued against the couple, according to the Time of India, but they managed to fly back to India unnoticed a day later.

AFP explains that India passed legislation in 2006 which banned household from employing children under the age of 14.  However, it adds that the law is widely flouted.