The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Minor maid goes home

Alipurduar, Oct. 24: Sohagi Das, the 13-year-old domestic help who had been beaten up by her employer with a pair of hot tongs, was handed over to her parents today.

Budhua Das, Sohagi’s father, said he will take her back to Harishchandrapur in Malda and had no intention of pursuing the case against Tinku Roy, the 37-year-old accused housewife.

“I will take my daughter back home. She is alive and safe and I don’t have money to contest the case. Her mother Dolon has been crying since we were informed by Rajeevbabu that Sohagi had been scalded with tongs. I won’t send my daughter to work anywhere else, even if that means we have to face a severe financial crisis,” said Das, who had come to Alipurduar with Tinku’s brother Rajeev Roy.

Tinku’s parents stay in Chanchol, Malda, and she had brought Sohagi to work as maid at her rented house in the Suryanagar area of the town almost a year ago.

Sohagi had been staying with the Roys’ landlord Ashoke Sengupta and his family from Sunday, the day she was beaten up for putting extra clothes in a tub of water for washing. Sengupta had taken her to hospital and on Tuesday had filed a complaint against Tinku, who is yet to be arrested.

Brushing aside allegations that the police were deliberately going slow on the case, Sitanath Das, the inspector in charge of Alipurduar police station, said: “We have started a case. Our officers are conducting an inquiry. It is not necessary that the accused should be arrested as soon as a case starts.”

Though the Senguptas wanted to adopt Sohagi, Das has not agreed.

Ajoy Roy, Tinku’s husband, said he could do little to help Sohagi, as he is not consulted in most household decisions. “I had repeatedly told my wife not to employ minor girls as maids, but she did not listen. She takes all the decisions in the family. This incident should not have happened. Tinku is short-tempered and can be very rude at times,” said Roy, an employee of the electricity department.

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