New York, March 25 (PTI): The Bangladesh Consul General in New York is facing charges of abusing his domestic help, just months after Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s maid filed a lawsuit against her for similar reasons.
The worker has alleged he was made to work without pay in “slavery-like conditions” by Monirul Islam and his wife Fahima Tahsina Prova. The help said he was also threatened and abused.
The anti-trafficking unit of NGO Safe Horizon — that represented Khobragade’s domestic help Sangeeta Richard — filed a civil complaint last Friday in Manhattan federal court on behalf of Mashud Parves Rana.
The complaint says that Islam and Prova “trafficked” Rana into forced labour and involuntary servitude.
Rana was kept in slavery-like conditions for over 18 months through “physical abuse and threats to his life” and was forced to work more than 120 hours per week without pay or a single day off, the NGO said in a statement.
The lawsuit comes just months after Khobragade was arrested on charges of visa fraud and making false statements about the visa application of Richard, a domestic help she had got from India.
Prosecutors had alleged Richard was “grossly underpaid and overworked” and Khobragade paid her as little as $1-$3 an hour instead of the $9.75 rate that they had agreed on.
According to the lawsuit, Rana was promised a salary of $3,000 per month and “good working conditions” but was instead forced to work over 12 hours a day without any pay and made to sleep in a closet or on a mattress on the kitchen floor.
Rana, who worked for the diplomat from September 2012 until earlier this month, is seeking unspecified money damages. Islam dismissed Rana’s allegation as baseless.
Bangladesh today sought a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami party for its alleged involvement in genocide and other atrocities during the 1971 independence war against Pakistan.