Maid Tortured: Beaten, Burned and nearly Slaughtered

Ovais Jafar
Maid Tortured: Beaten, Burned and nearly Slaughtered
LAHORE: Another young housemaid seeks justice after her employers beat her, burned her and nearly slaughtered her in Kahana, a village in Gujrat, Punjab.

The 11-year-old housemaid had been employed by Usman and his wife for the last 5 months. However, when the couple suspected the young maid of stealing a gold chain they turned violent.

Speaking to Geo News the young girl alleged that her employers took turns beating her with a stick for five days. She says they bound her hands and legs and then burned her body with a hot iron and even electrocuted her. She claims they went as far as putting a sword on her neck – luckily they did not go through with that threat.

Her body scarred with injuries, on her arms, legs and hands, she demands justice.

This isn’t the first case of torture and violence against housemaids in Punjab. The most recent case that gained media attention was in February 2015 when the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CPWB) rescued a 12-year-old from Johar Town in Lahore.

In January 2014 two separate cases of torture against young maids were reported from Lahore, both maids, one aged 10 and the other aged 15 succumbed to their injuries; both had been tortured by their employers.

The latest victim’s father has registered as case at the local police station and the police are conducting raids to apprehend the couple; historically however due to weak prosecution and lackluster interest from the already over burdened police force, the guilty rarely receive adequate punishment, if at all.

According to the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CPWB) – an initiative of the Punjab provincial government – while the Police assists the CPWB there seems to be a divorce between the judiciary and the executive, which allows the guilty to post bail under the pretext of insufficient evidence and eventually the case peters out of memory.

Fatima Sheikh, the Director General at the CPWB recalled the case of the 12-year-old from February this year. The young girl had been brutally tortured, yet the culprit was out on bail the very next day.

Sheikh says, the CPWB will be tabling amendments to the existing laws in the coming month. The amendments will introduce stricter punishments for crimes that have as yet not been considered serious enough and have allowed perpetrators’ to walk free.

The amendments will focus on crimes against the child, including child trafficking, violence against a child, sexual abuse, dealing in organs (of children) and fraud and deceit with a child.

The CPWB also hopes to get stricter punishments for violence against children, ranging between 7-14 years. Sheikh hopes that stricter penalization will deter the violent nature of employers.

Until stricter laws are implemented and enforced; culprits will continue to walk free and as a society, we will continue to fail the young victims of torture.