Housemaid’s death: Flat owner booked for human trafficking too

Housemaid’s death: Flat owner booked for human trafficking too
The apartment in Kochi from where Rajakumari, a native of Tamil Nadu, fell from the sixth floor, while allegedly trying to climb down using sarees.

Kochi: A case of human trafficking too has been filed against Kochi resident Imtiaz Ahamed over the death of his housemaid after she fell from his sixth-floor flat. The police had earlier filed a case against the flat owner for wrongful confinement and forced labour. After the Woman's Commission also intervened in the case, the police registered the case under the new section.

Rajakumari, a native of Tamil Nadu, died on Monday night while she was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kochi. She had suffered grievous injuries after she fell from the sixth floor, while allegedly trying to climb down using sarees. The incident happened at the Link Horizon flat at Marine Drive in Kochi on December 5.

The police said that the accused is absconding. He is not at the flat and is not available over the phone, said central police inspector S Vijayashankar who is leading the probe.

After the post-mortem at the Ernakulam Medical College, Rajakumari's body was handed over to her relatives. The mortal remains were taken to her native place in Tamil Nadu in an ambulance, arranged by the labour department.

The relatives said that the funeral would be held on Tuesday.

Husband raises allegations

Rajakumari's husband Sreenivasan, who is visually challenged, has raised serious allegations.

"People, close to the flat owner, took my thumb impression on some papers. They promised that all issues would be resolved. A person, closely associated with the owner, assured that all the expenses, including hospital charges, would be taken care of and the body would be taken to the native place. Also, I was asked not to file a case. But after giving the thumb impression, I did not meet the flat owner or the person who offered to help," Sreenivasan said.

Sreenivasan reiterated that the flat owner had confined his wife at home against her will.

"My wife was asked to return following cyclone Burevi. However, the owner said that she cannot leave without first returning the Rs 10,000 given as advance. Then this money was deposited in the account. Despite getting the money, he refused to let her go,” he alleged.

Sreenivasan said that he would give a complaint to the City Commissioner.

Brother files complaint

Rajakumari's brother Veeraswamy, of Cuddalore, has given a complaint to the city police commissioner, while alleging that she died under mysterious circumstances.

As per the complaint, the flat owner had telephoned Sreenivasan on December 5 and informed him that Kumari had been unconscious after she fell while trying to scale down the apartment. Though the relatives reached the hospital, they were not allowed to meet her. They were informed of her death on December 12. While raising suspicions over the death, the complaint sought for an investigation and ensured that they got justice.

Panel seeks re-probe

Kerala Women's Commission chairperson M C Josephine demanded a re-probe over the death of the housemaid in Kochi.

The flat owner was earlier accused in a case of employing a 14-year-old girl as housemaid and tormenting her. The police had then filed a case under weak sections, she said.

Josephine and commission member Shiji Shivaji visited the Link Horizon flat in Kochi and directly took evidence from the caretaker. Apart from seeking a report from the central police SHO, she directly went to the station on Monday evening and took note of the proceedings.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena district president Saji Thuruttikunnel said that Sreenivasan and relatives, who arrived from Tamil Nadu, went through a harrowing ordeal in Kochi.

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