Earlier this week, a 13-year-old jumped from the 11th floor of an apartment building to escape the beating and torture that she had endured for two years, exposing a horrific case of bonded labour in Faridabad, Haryana.
The minor fell through a bird net and landed in a balcony on the 10th floor of the Kanishka Towers in Faridabad, where she lay in a semiconscious state for seven hours until she was rescued by residents.
The teenager, who had worked as a domestic for two years in a rented apartment on the 11th floor, was allegedly beaten and tortured by her employer - a woman in her early twenties. The Times of India reported today that the survivor's body is marked by deep gashes, scratches, wounds on the head and burn marks on the back.
Rishi Kant, spokesperson of Shakti Vahini, an NGO that combats bonded labour in the country, told News 18, "The victim has burn marks all over her back, she has bruises on her head and her hands have deep marks that appear old. The girl is extremely scared and is in a traumatic condition. Doctors say she has been starved for long."
"The girl said the woman would hit her with pipes and rolling pins. If she made a mistake, boiling water would be thrown on her back. The evident injuries and burn marks all over her body confirm this," Kant told The Indian Express.
One neighbor said, "We would often hear cries. But the woman, who told us that she studies at a private university, would tell us to mind our own business."
The teenager, who hails from Bihar, has been sent to a Child Protection Home but the police are struggling to locate her parents in Patna.
The accused, who also hails from Bihar and is pursuing a BTech degree at Manav Rachna University in Faridabad, has been arrested and remanded in judicial custody. An FIR has been registered against her under Section 79 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
H.S. Malik, chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee, Faridabad, HS Malik, told News 18, "The accused is a student a private university in Faridabad. She used to beat up the girl regularly. Both the girls hail from Patna and the parents of the victim work as servants at the accused girl's home in Bihar."
The Indian Express reported that the accused has been identified as Sneha, whose father owns mines in Bihar.
TOI reported that the teenager, who was performing all the household chores including sweeping, cooking, and washing clothes, was not paid a salary.
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