'They hit me with anything they got': Minor worker accuses JD(S) man, wife of assault

The victim said that they began violently beating her up when she admitted to having stolen Rs 5,000 from them because there was no money in her house.
'They hit me with anything they got': Minor worker accuses JD(S) man, wife of assault
'They hit me with anything they got': Minor worker accuses JD(S) man, wife of assault
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On Sunday night, 17-year-old Sharada*, a domestic worker, alleged that she was beaten up by Janata Dal (Secular) Corporator M Mahadev and his wife, Sudha.

Sharada reached the aunt’s house near Nandini Layout in Bengaluru allegedly with bruises covering her body.

She claimed that the couple brutally assaulted her and even got the police to beat her up when she admitted to having stolen Rs 5,000.

“On Sunday evening, I was mopping the floor when Sudha asked me if i had seen Rs 5,000, which was kept in the living room. She told me that the last time she saw the money was on Friday. I was scared and initially I lied to her saying that I had not taken the money, but then I told her the truth. I had taken it because we did not have any money at home for the month. I apologised to her repeatedly and I promised to bring the money back the next day,” Sharada says.

It was after her confession that Corporator Mahadev and Sudha got violent, she recalls. Sharada alleges that Mahadev then accused her of stealing jewellery from the house and also a few other valuables.

“I had no idea what they were talking about. I admitted to taking the money, but I did not know that jewellery was also missing from their house. Both of them started beating me up. I didn’t know what was happening. They kept hitting me, not allowing me to explain why I had stolen the money. The pain made me incoherent. I could only keep begging them to stop,” Sharada says.

The 17-year-old alleges that Mahadev and Sudha then began beating her with their son’s toys and later began throwing things at her.

“They stopped beating me with their hands. When I thought it was over, they just started beating me with the toys. They had become so angry that I was hit with anything they could get their hands on. Mahadev kept telling me that he knows the police and that he would ensure that I die. Sometime later, two policemen came home and they kicked me on my stomach multiple times with their shoes on. They also put me down on the floor and stamped me on my back several times,” Sharada says.

Mahadev was allegedly unconvinced when she said she didn’t know about the missing jewellery and threatened to kill Sharada if she did not accept to stealing the jewellery.

“I have no idea about the jewellery. How can I accept to stealing it when I have not? The policemen then warned me that I have to return the jewellery or get beaten up. I could not even stand up for a while and then they left me alone. A few minutes later, I went back home and that’s when my aunt took me to the local hospital where they treated me,” Sharada says.

However, the Corporator has denied the allegations and stated that Sharada was not employed as domestic worker in his residence.

“Her aunt worked as domestic worker for us, but she used to look after my child once in a while. She did agree to taking the money and we did not beat her. We only sat her down and told her that she could ask us for help anytime she wanted and that stealing was not the right way to go about things. You can ask her ... We treated her like our daughter,” Mahadev said.

On Monday morning, the Nandini Layout Police registered an FIR against Mahadev and his wife Sudha under section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt using dangerous weapons) and 504 (intentional insult with intention to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC.

“We have taken the victim’s statement and have registered a complaint. We are conducting a preliminary probe to determine whether police officers were also involved in the assault. Since she does not know the names of the officers, we have to be sure before registering a case and taking further action,” the Nandini Layout Police said.

Instances of violence against domestic workers are not new to Bengaluru. In April 2017, a minor girl named Phoolmuni fell from the balcony of an apartment in Bengaluru’s Hoodi area. The suspicious circumstances under which the minor died revealed that she was being abused by her techie employers. Phoolmuni’s death also led to the Bengaluru Police cracking down on a racket where minor girls from poor families were sold to homes through a Delhi-based agency.

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