A seven-year-old domestic help, who was brutalised by her employer on Friday, is being nursed back to health at Chittagong Medical College Hospital, with her parents still to know what she has suffered.
Her right hand was burnt, hair cut off, and a tooth in the upper jaw uprooted. Her whole body bears injury marks.
Tanjina is now recovering at the Paediatric Surgery Ward of CMCH. The nurses including Mishu Barua and Ishrat Jahan are routinely feeding her and dressing her wounds.
"She is traumatised," said Dr Adnan Walid. Her condition is stable but she needs counselling, he added. The doctor said Tanjina would be given physiotherapy after her condition improved.
According to Tanjina's account, her family lives in Rangamati. Three months ago her mother left her with a family in Salimpur CDA Residential Area of Sitakunda upazila. "All was well in the first month," she said, adding that the homemaker started to torture her from the second month on any excuse.
“I had to do all works of the house except for cooking,” she said. “I had to sweep the floor, collect water in pitchers from the nearby tube-well, cut and prepare vegetables, fish and meat.”
“She used to beat me and choke my throat with her leg if I did any mistake in work,” said Tanjina. “One day she cut off my hair as I was not quick to cut vegetables.” “On Friday morning, she ordered me to cut and prepare a chicken but I refused to do that saying I could not do it,” she said. “Then she forced my hand into boiling water.”
Tanjina did not get any treatment till the afternoon. As she was sent to fetch water in the afternoon, neighbours and locals found her injured and rushed her to CMCH. Md Sufian, a local of Salimpur area who took her to CMCH, said, “How could a person torture a girl like this!” Sufian filed a case with Sitakunda Police Station and bore the expenses of the girl's treatment. “I tried to contact her parents but the phone of her mother was switched off,” he said.
Police arrested her employers Naorin Akter, 25, and Nur Mohammad, 36, on Friday night, and a Chittagong court sent them to jail the next day, said Inspector Mahbub Milki of the police station. During interrogation, Naorin “admitted” that she used to slap Tanjina occasionally and cut her hair off but she denied burning her hand in boiling water, said the officer.