Woman arrested after elevator CCTV footage shows her assaulting domestic worker

A woman in India’s Uttar Pradesh state has been arrested on charges of assaulting and holding her domestic help hostage after a video surfaced on social media showing her dragging the worker out of an elevator.

On Wednesday, a police case was filed after CCTV footage showed the 20-year-old worker being forcibly dragged inside an elevator at a high-rise building in Noida.

“Shefali Koul, who lives in the Cleo County society in Sector 121, was held on Wednesday evening from her residence,” a police spokesperson was quoted as saying to news agency Press Trust of India.

Ms Koul, who is a lawyer, was taken to a local court on Thursday.

She was initially booked under charges of illegal confinement beyond 10 days, voluntarily causing hurt and insult.

“Now charges under IPC [India’s criminal code] 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have also been added in the case,” a local police official said.

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The domestic worker, identified as Anita by news channel NDTV, said she was beaten and tortured by Ms Koul.

“She used to beat me every day, douse me with cold water,” she said to the channel.

“On December 26, I had eaten a bar of jaggery, so I was beaten with slippers. Then she threatened to set me on fire and throw me down from the roof.”

She said she had attempted to escape using multiple dupattas (scarves) to climb down from the fourth floor.

“The guard stopped me and called madam. She hit me and dragged me upstairs, choked my throat.”

A complaint was lodged by her father which alleged that her contract with Ms Koul ended on 31 October.

“After the contract ended, my daughter wanted to leave her place but she did not allow her. She kept my daughter hostage at her home where she assaulted her and hurled abuses at her,” he said to PTI.

Ms Koul had earlier denied mistreating her help or keeping her hostage.