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Diplomat row: Did Devyani treat Sangeeta like a 'slave'?

The debate around Devyani Khobragade clearly has the nation's sympathies divided. While a section of our country believes that Devyani was subjected to atrocities uncalled for, several others maintain she was rightly tried for exploiting a fellow Indian.

While it is next to impossible to take sides since the details are so fudged, there have been a slew of reports suggesting the maid might have been exploited. The latest in the same, is a report on Outlook. The article has revealed details of the petition Sangeeta Richard's husband Phillip filed in the Delhi High Court. In the petition, Phillip alleged that Uttam Khobragade, Sangeet'a father, had called them several times and threatened to slap false cases on them that would see them in jail. The Outlook quotes the petition:

Devyani Khobragade. IBn Live.

Devyani Khobragade. IBn Live.

"The treatment of Sangeeta by Devyani Khobragade is tantamount to keeping a person in slavery-like conditions or keeping a person in bondage. Even though the contract stipulated that Sunday would be an off-day she worked from 6 am to 11 pm, minus 2 hours for church even on Sunday. She worked from 6 am to 11 pm on Saturday as well.”

Sangeeta's daughter had also written to the state government saying that her mother was unhappy in the United States. She said that while Devyani wanted to return, Devyani rejected her request and refused to facilitate her return. "Please help us," she wrote.

The report also says:

"Weeks after her arrival, Sangeeta complained to Phillip about her “miserable work condition” and asked her employer to relieve her and have her sent to India. On June 23, a day after telling Phillip of her constant harassment, she went out to buy groceries. And has not returned since. Phillip even accuses Devyani of deducting Rs 10,000 from her salary when Sangeeta fell ill whereas her contract promised “full medical care”. His plea was dismissed on July 19, according to Adeeb, because the high court claimed “no jurisdiction on a crime committed on foreign soil”."

Read the complete Outlook article here.

 

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