An Indian housemaid had her hand hacked off allegedly by her female employer in Saudi Arabia and has complained she has been tortured whilst working in Riyadh.
Kasturi Munirathinam, originally from the south Indian city of Chennai, had been earning £150 a month while working as a cleaner for a household in the Saudi capital.
Since she started working in Riyadh, she said she had been tortured and deliberately deprived of food by her employers.
Her family said that when Ms Munirathinam tried to escape, her employer decided to punish her and cut off her hand.
'When she tried to escape harassment and torture, her right hand was chopped off by the woman employer. She fell down and sustained serious spinal injuries,' her sister, S Vijayakumari, told the Press Trust of India.
The incident happened after… she complained about torture and non-payment of wages by her employer.' she said.
Ms Munirathinam was taken to hospital in Riyadh and her condition has now reportedly stabilised.
A video has emerged on social media, allegedly showing the moments after Ms Munirathinam was attacked.'I pleaded with the lady not to harm me but she kicked me, punched me and cut off my arm. I want to go back home. Please help me,' she says in the video according to the Times of India.
'Kasturi's employer was angered after she apprised local officials about the harassment she was facing there, she was not even provided food,' her sister S Vijayakumari told the Press Trust of India news agency.
'When she tried to escape the harassment and torture, her right hand was chopped off by the woman employer. She fell down and sustained serious spinal injuries,' she said.
Sushma Swaraj, India's minister for internal affairs, tweeted about the woman's plight in Saudi Arabia.
'Chopping of hand of Indian lady - We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia,' she wrote.
It is thought Ms Munirathinam sought work in Saudi Arabia to help earn money for her husband and four children in India.
Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup has spoken out against the attack on the Indian woman, telling the Indian Express that India had launched an investigation into the attack and will 'continue to seek justice for the victim'.
'Our embassy in Riyadh has taken up the matter with the Saudi Foreign Office and asked for strict action in the matter and severe punishment for the sponsor,' he said.
He said a case of attempted murder should be lodged against the sponsor 'so that he is punished, if found guilty as per law.'
Source : Times of India.