Housewife brands a two-year old
infant with an iron spatula
It was reported in The Hindu, that a house-wife, Rama, in Sanjaynagar
allegedly branded the two-year old daughter of her maidservant, Girija,
on 24/07/02. It is said that the child, Ramya entered the kitchen of Rama,
which angered her.
When Girija, the maid was busy with her work, her daughter Ramya entered
the kitchen and the pooja room of the house. Angered by this, Rama, the
employer who was preparing dosaa, is said to have placed the hot iron
spatula on Ramya. When Girija questioned Rama about this, the latter allegedly
asked her to get out. A neighbor, who learnt about this, took Girija and
the baby to Sanjaynagar police station and lodged a complaint.
SICHREM (South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring) undertook
a fact-finding mission into the reported incident. Ms. Margaret, who represented
SICHREM, visited Mrs. Rama in Sanjaynagar, Ramya, and Girija in Badrappa
layout, and the police officials at Sanjaynagar police station on 26th
According to Mrs. Rama aged 57 yrs residing at No 28, 6th main, 2nd cross,
P & T colony, Sanjaynagar, Girija was working as a maid servant in
her house for the past 3 months and was paid Rs.300/- per month. Her daughter
Ramya, aged 2 years was accompanying her mother .A few days ago Girija
asked her for Rs1000/- as a loan but she refused to pay. The employer
is suffering from leukemia. On 24/07/02 she had gone to Gangenahalli for
treatment. After returning from the hospital she was preparing dosaa,
when Ramya asked for dosaa. She gave her a dosaa and also had one herself,
then went to take rest.
After some time Girija entered the room with her daughter and asked her
how these wounds have appeared on her body suddenly. In reply Rama said
that she must have fallen off somewhere or some body must have done it
and applied some ointment. Then Girija went out of the house and came
back with 10 to15 people and demanded money. Rama said that she was not
willing to pay anything. Later they went to the police station for sorting
out the issue.
She also said that the child was unclean all the time and she was disturbing
them a lot. For the purpose of extracting money Girija must have done
this to her daughter. She said that she had not threatened Girija with
Ramya's mother Mrs. Girija, aged 22years, residing at No: 98, 3rd cross,
1st main, Badrappa layout, was working as a house maid in Mrs. Rama's
On 24/07/02 she began her work at 8 am in their house. At about 9.30 a.m
her daughter Ramya suddenly cried. At that time she was in the kitchen
sweeping. The house owner, Rama, came from the kitchen with the spatula
in her hand. When she asked her daughter, she pointed to her thighs and
face where the skin had peeled off and the child was sobbing "Auvva,
Auvva". She was startled to see her daughter's wound. Hearing the
commotion, Rama's daughter in law came there and applied coconut oil and
she said some body might have burnt the child. To this Rama replied that
she must have fallen or some body must have done this.
Immediately, out of fear, Girija came out of the house and showed it to
her mother who was working in a nearby house and came back with 5-6 people
to Rama's house for justice. Apparently, Rama told her that she was not
willing to give a single paisaa for the treatment; instead she would approach
From the beginning, Rama did not like the child. She always used to threaten
her. The aggrieved party lodged the case in the police station with the
help of one Mr. Neil.
Ms. Margaret visited Mr. Dadapeer, investigation assistant of Sanjaynagar
police station. According to him, he booked the case and arrested the
lady immediately after the incident and later she was released on bail.
The charge sheet would be submitted by this week. They seized the spatula,
which was used for torture.
Mr. Neil incorrectly lodged the complaint that Rama had threatened
Girija with dire consequences. Mrs. Girija says that Rama had not threatened
Even though Rama has reported that Girija requested a loan of RS 1000/-,
it was found to be untrue. Reason for inflicting injury could not be established.
But it could have been the infant's lack of hygiene. There was no community
hatred between both the parties according to them. There is no reason
to doubt that the employer, Rama, had injured the child with the spatula.
No mother would burn her daughter to get money. So Rama's statement that
Girija had herself burnt her child is absolutely untenable.
The employer Rama should be prosecuted under IPC 324.
Rama should pay the medical expenses incurred by Girija.
Compensation should also be paid to Girija for the trauma suffered by
her and Ramya.