The domestic help says her employer beat her with chappals, wire and leather belts to ensure she never complained
Dippy Vankani with inputs by Anil Raina, Mumbai Mirror, jan 29,2006
The 12-year-old domestic help, for whose rape Income Tax employee Shaukat Noor Mohammed, 50, was arrested on Friday, said she was raped repeatedly for over a year and beaten frequently to make sure she did not report the crime.
A local court has now remanded Shaukat to police custody till February 3.
Shaukat was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by members of the National Domestic Workers’ Movement.
Celvin Mary, Co-ordinator of Mumbai Domestic Workers’ Welfare Association said, “One of our members spotted Hasina (name changed) loitering around Adarsh Nagar on Monday.
“She contacted us at our Mazgaon office. We then took Hasina to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) at Dongri where she was kept under observation.”
On Wednesday, the CWC asked Mary’s organisation to lodge a police complaint. On Thursday, the police recorded Hasina’s statement and sent her for a medical check up to the police hospital at Nagpada.
On Friday, the police filed an FIR and arrested Shaukat.
Hasina was brought to Mumbai by a woman from her native Kolkata, whom she calls Meena Mami. The lady regularly brought children to Mumbai and employed them as domestic help.
Meena got Hasina a job at Shaukat’s residence at Tarapur Towers in Andheri. Shaukat is an upper divisional clerk in the Income Tax office. Shaukat stayed with his wife and two children aged five and two years. Hasina believes Shaukat’s wife Shaheen is an airhostess. She was often away from home. When she was at home, both she and her husband inflicted all kinds of torture on Hasina. The child was offered stale food and was allowed to sleep only in the kitchen with an old bedsheet. Whenever the couple went out with their kids, they locked her inside. She was only allowed to go out of the house when she was taking the children to the building garden. She was strictly instructed not to speak to any of the neighbours.
When Shaheen was away at work, Shaukat regularly raped Hasina. In addition, he threatened to beat her if she ever complained to anyone. Shaukat had beaten her frequently with chappals, wires, rolling pins and leather belts. (Celvin Mary says there are scars on Hasina’s body that suggest torture.)
To make sure the rape remained undetected, Shaukat checked to ensure that Hasina’s menstrual cycle was regular. He also gave her birth control pills on two occasions. (Police inspector A Mahajan of Oshiwara police station confirmed this.)
• There are many children who are trafficked from various parts of the country and are sexually abused by their employers. There is an urgent need to include children who are engaged as domestic help in the Child Labour Act. The act has abolished child labour, but it deals only with children who work in factories and other establishments — Celvin Mary, Co-ordinator of Mumbai Domestic Workers’ Welfare Association