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'Tortured Like An Animal,' Says Indian Woman Rescued From Saudi Arabia

Mangaluru:  After a 14-month ordeal in Saudi Arabia, where she was forced to work as a “slave” in a house, 42-year-old Jacintha Mendonca has returned home. Ms Jacintha was allegedly duped by a Mumbai-based recruiting agency who promised her a high-salary job in Qatar. She was first taken to Dubai, and then flown to Saudi Arabia where she had been “enslaved” for the last 14 months.

“I had a hellish experience in Yanbu. I was made to work day in, day out at three mansions belonging to the employer’s mother, his three wives and their children. I was tortured like an animal,” Ms Mendonca told reporters at AV Baliga Hospital in Karnataka’s Udupi yesterday.

She said her employer did not let her leave the house even for a short walks and the children in the house called her “slave”. Though she managed to escape the house in November 2016, police soon caught her and took her back to the employer.

Ms Mendonca said her employer thrashed her after the failed escape bid and did not even offer water despite her pleading.

When non-profit body Human Rights Protection Foundation of Udupi heard about her, it contacted the head of a non-resident Indians’ forum, Roshan Rodrigues, in Saudi Arabi in April this year. The social work volunteers then helped her returning home.

Ms Mendonca, who was reunited with her family at Mundrangady in Udupi district on Friday, have asked Indian authorities to book the people who have cheated her. She said she will never return to the Gulf again.

Ravindra Shanbagh of the Udupi Human Rights Foundation said they found her employer in Saudi Arabia after several attempts.