Chennai: Enduring harrowing days after her right hand was chopped off allegedly by her employer in Saudi Arabia, domestic help from Tamil Nadu, Kasturi Munirathinam
arrived here today with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announcing a financial aid of Rs.10 lakh for her. She arrived in a Saudi Airlines flight and was brought out in a wheel-chair by waiting paramedics to an emotional welcome by family and friends.
“Thanks for all,” the 55-year old woman muttered as she was taken in a waiting ambulance to the Government Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital here for higher medical treatment in the presence of senior State officials. Jayalalithaa ordered Rs.10 lakh financial assistance from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund to Kasturi Munirathinam considering her financial state. “This fund will be invested in the Tamil Nadu Power Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation and the monthly interest of Rs.8,330 will be provided every month to Kasturi Munirathinam till her life time,” she said in an official release.
“On my orders, officials have sent Kasturi to Government Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital for requisite higher medical treatment,” she said. She also recalled her continuous efforts to help the poor woman. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month she had urged him “to take up the issue at the highest level in Saudi Arabia and get Kasturi best medical treatment, adequate financial compensation and facilitation of her safe and early return to Tamil Nadu.”
The alleged incident on the intervening night of September 29-30 this year sparked an outrage and brought back the focus on the plight of Indian workers, especially women,
in some of the Gulf nations. Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had
condemned the incident terming it unacceptable.
External Affairs Ministry officials liaisoned with hospital and government authorities in Saudi Arabia following the incident, her treatment and return to India. She had gone to Saudi about four months ago and her hand was allegedly severed by her employer when she tried to escape harassment and torture. However, Saudi Police had said she was suffering from “mental disturbances” and tried to flee her sponsor’s house. They had claimed that her hand was amputated as a result of her fall from a residential building during her bid to escape. Kasturi’s family members had dismissed as “lies and
conspiracy” such a claim of Saudi police.