Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought justice for a woman from Tamil Nadu whose arm was chopped off recently by her employer in Saudi Arabia.
“The Prime Minister has sought justice for Kasthuri Munirathnam, whose arm was chopped off by her employer, during his recent meeting with Saudi ruler,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
Modi had met Saudi King Salman Al Saud in Turkey on the margins of the G20 Summit on November 16.
The 56-year-old maid hails from Mungileri village near Katpadi in Tamil Nadu. She has since returned home after the brutal attack in Riyadh in October.
Swaraj said when the incident of Munirathnam came to light, the Indian Embassy immediately contacted the Saudi Arabian authorities and insisted on registering an attempt to murder case.
“However, I am pained to say that the Saudi authorities soon issued a statement saying she fell down while trying to flee the house of her employer. We have not accepted this and continue to pursue the case to get her justice,” she said.
The Minister said the government was working with several Gulf countries to stop exploitation of Indian labourers in those countries.
Swaraj, who is also Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, said it was a common complaint that many employers in Gulf countries seize the passports of their Indian employees to ensure that they do not return home easily.
To help such distressed Indian workers, she said, Indian missions often hold public grievance meetings to help them and try to retrieve such passports from their employers.
If these efforts do not bear fruit, such distressed Indians are given emergency exit permit for their return.
The Minister said the government has already decided that all Indians going abroad as domestic help must go through government-registered recruitment agencies so that no exploitation takes place.
Swaraj said those who go abroad through unregistered recruitment agents in an unscrupulous manner can be termed as human trafficking. “We are trying to bring such activities under the ambit of Anti-Human Trafficking Act,” she said.
The Minister said as per the information made available to the Ministry, there is no general pattern to indicate an increase in cases of exploitation or torture of Indian workers.