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Maid abuse charge on airhostess

New Delhi, Oct. 31: An Air India airhostess allegedly tortured her 13-year-old maid from Manipur for two years, often lashing her with belts and keeping her locked for days in her flat when she was out of the city.

Bira Thoibi, a 22-year-old who is also from Manipur, was arrested soon after landing from Australia today, an officer said. Bira’s elder sister Noibi, who had brought the minor to Delhi two years ago, was picked up hours later, the officer said. Noibi stays with her husband in Imphal but visits her sibling in her Sarojini Nagar flat occasionally.

This is the second such case of abuse to be reported in less than a month: a senior executive of a French MNC was held for abusing her maid at her home in Vasant Kunj, an upscale south Delhi area like Sarojini Nagar.

The Manipur victim was rescued by cops with the help of neighbours on Tuesday, after four days of being locked in by Bira who had left for Australia on Saturday. “We found injury marks on her body and an NGO was called to counsel her,” another officer said.

Bira and Noibi, sent today to Tihar jail on 14 days’ judicial remand, face charges of trafficking and child abuse.

The victim told a government child welfare committee, before which she was produced after being rescued, that neither she nor her family were paid in the past two years.

“The girl told the panel that her employer beat her with a belt and sometimes banged her head against the wall. She (Bira) locked the girl in the flat during her frequent trips out of Delhi,” the officer said.