April 24, 2021

Employers allegedly burn 12-yr-old domestic help to death in Assam; 2 arrested

Police said the girl’s body has been sent for post-mortem. Purported photos of the girl’s body circulated on social media show it in a kneeling position with the head on the ground

Two people have been arrested in Assam’s Nagaon district for allegedly burning their 12-year-old domestic help. “We got initial information from the [employers]...that she [domestic help] had died by suicide. ...after initial investigation, our team found the claim to be suspicious,” said police superintendent Gaurav Abhijit Dilip. “It appears she had been burnt. We also came to know the girl who was just 12 was employed as domestic help. We have arrested two persons...Prakash Borthakur and his son, Nayanmoni Borthakur. Further investigations are underway.”

Police said the girl’s body has been sent for post-mortem. Purported photos of the girl’s body circulated on social media show it in a kneeling position with the head on the ground. A plastic jar and a matchbox can also be seen in the pictures. HT could not independently verify their authenticity.

The girl had been employed as domestic help for five years in violation of the law that prohibits employing children under 14. Her employers allegedly poured kerosene after she requested them to allow her to go home.

In a tweet, Assam police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said: “As per her employer, the girl committed suicide. However, after initial inspection, it is suspected that she was murdered and then burnt. She was also underage to be working as a domestic help. Therefore, two accused were taken to custody immediately. Investigation is on.”

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