Noida: Residents of Mahagun Moderne, a posh residential complex in Sector 78 in Noida, woke up to hundreds of protesters pelting stones at their apartments as the mob barged into the complex.
The crowd was made of relatives and neighbours of a maid, Zohra Bibi, working in the society who was allegedly beaten up on charges of stealing by her employer on Monday.
According to residents, whom News18 spoke to, crowd started gathering outside the residential complex around 7am. They tried to get inside the society but were stopped by the guards. The crowd then started pelting stones.
“A case has not been registered yet. The employers have alleged that the maid stole money. According to them, she had left the apartment complex yesterday,” said Arun Kumar Singh, superintendent of police.
Singh added that the protesters alleged that the maid had been locked by the employer for an entire night.
“The maid has been admitted to a district hospital. She is not in critical condition,” said Singh.
While the situation was brought under control by police deployment, some of the protesters outside the complex told News18 that the maid had been beaten up. “If she had stolen, the employers should have gone to the police,” said a 17-year-old protester, with a cloth around his face to hide his identity.
According to the public relations officer of the society, the maid had stolen Rs 17,000 according to her employer, but she confessed to stealing Rs 10,000. “She told us that she did, indeed, steal Rs 10,000. She asked us to adjust it with her salary next month, which we refused. We told her we will inform the administration about it. While she requested us not to do it, we still went ahead because we didn’t want anyone to have the same experience.”
The employer added that Zohra was asked to accompany them to the Society administration office. “She ran away, which we are sure would be on CCTV. She left her phone at our house. We went to Mr. Ramaswami at the administration office, filed a complaint and handed over the maid’s phone to him. He said he will look into the matter,” the employer added.
Meanwhile, Zohra’s husband Babu told News18, “My wife leaves early in the morning and returns by 6 pm. On Tuesday, when she didn’t come home till around 8 pm, we started getting worried and reached the apartment. The guards didn’t let us in. We stood outside the gate in the rain the whole night, pleading the guards to confirm the whereabouts of my wife.”
According to Babu, his neighbours joined him in the morning. “We rescued my wife. She was in horrible condition at that time and her clothes were torn. Police took her to district hospital,” he added.
Another relative of Zohra Bibi, Sahaluddin told News18 that the maid had deep injury marks on her back and could hardly move when she was found in the flat.
“We were all outside the complex all night. But they did not let us in. In the morning, when we forcefully entered, we found Zohra inside the flat with injury marks on her back. One of her hand was broken and she had congestion in her chest. She could hardly breathe, hence the police shifted her to a nearby hospital,” said Sahaluddin.
A resident of the apartment complex said the protesters attacked the house of the employer. “The family locked themselves in the bathroom. There was heavy stone pelting and lathi charge. The maid was found in the morning in a nearby flat. I am yet to understand, how these people dare have the audacity to enter a residential complex and create such ruckus. Everything is recorded in the CCTV camera. Things will be very clear,” said the resident.
The residents have now further pledged that they would not allow maids to work in the society for the next one week so that they are taught a lesson for life. “We have also told the cop that the entire stretch of illegal shops opposite our home should be relocated somewhere else,” said a resident of the society.
News18 accessed the entry register of the apartment and though it has been recorded that Zohra Bibi had entered the apartment on 6:45 am on July 11 but the exit column was empty. However, the recently released CCTV footages have captured the woman walking out of another apartment today morning where her clothes were not torn.