A pilot and her husband were beaten up by a mob in southwest Delhi's Dwarka for allegedly thrashing a 10-year-old girl working as a domestic help at their house, the police said.
The police have arrested Kaushik Bagchi (36) and Poornima Bagchi (33) for allegedly assaulting the minor, they said, adding that action would also be taken against those who manhandled the couple as they have also received a complaint against attackers.
The police said Poornima works as a pilot in a private airline while her husband is deployed as a ground staff at another carrier.
After the incident came to light, the couple was confronted by the victim's relatives who also manhandled them.
Amid a social media uproar over this incident, IndiGo on Wednesday said it has derostered an employee from duties and the matter is being investigated.
Without specifically mentioning the case, an IndiGo spokesperson said it is aware of a video circulating on social media that allegedly involves an individual employed by the airline.
"We are currently investigating the matter. Meanwhile, the employee has been derostered from official duties," the spokesperson said in a statement.
Vistara too issued a statement saying it has derostered an employee from duties for his alleged involvement in an incident of violence and abuse.
Without specifically mentioning the incident, a Vistara spokesperson said, "An incidence of violence and abuse has been brought to our notice, allegedly involving a Vistara employee."
"We will extend complete support to law and enforcement agencies, and, in the meanwhile, we have derostered the employee from his duties," the spokesperson said in the statement.
Later in the day, the apex child rights body NCPCR sought a factual report, including copies of the FIR against the accused, the medical status of the victim and other relevant documents, from the New Delhi district magistrate regarding the incident within seven days.
In the purported video, the couple could be seen being manhandled and beaten up by a mob. Some of the women were also seen slapping and pulling the hair of the accused woman, who was in her uniform.
Poornima was heard apologising in the video while Kaushik was seen shielding her from the agitated mob saying that "she would die...Leave her..". The crowd dispersed after an elderly man intervened.
Deputy commissioner of police (Dwarka) M Harsha Vardhan said around 9 am, information was received at Dwarka South police station regarding the mistreatment of a child who worked as a domestic help.
It was found that a 10-year-old girl, who had been working at the couple's house for the last two months, was beaten up by the duo on Wednesday. The alleged assault was also witnessed by the minor's relatives.
The victim was employed at the couple's house through the minor's relative who also works in a nearby house, police added.
After the matter came to notice, a crowd gathered outside the couple's residence. They confronted the duo and later manhandled them, the DCP said.
The minor girl was medically examined and counselled by a counsellor, he added.
According to police, the victim has injuries around her eyes and burn marks on her body.
"We have registered a case under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) of the Indian Penal Code, Child Labour Act and section 75 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act," the DCP said.
No allegations of sexual harassment have been levelled by the victim, police said.
The victim's relative alleged that the minor girl was often scolded by the couple for not doing the household work properly.
The relative who spotted the girl being beaten up claimed that on Wednesday morning, when she was passing by the street for her work, she saw Poornima beating the minor girl while she was working on the balcony.
On spotting this, she along with others went to the couple's house but they did not come out and only after creating a ruckus, they opened the door and let the child come out, the relative alleged.
The child then narrated her ordeal and said she was asked to clean the balcony. When she was doing her work, the woman started scolding and thrashing her saying she was not cleaning the balcony properly, the victim's relative said.
The police said the victim's parents belong to a village in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar and that the minor girl was allegedly beaten for not doing household work properly.
The victim's uncle alleged that the girl was scolded and beaten up earlier as well. The girl was also left to starve for the last three-four days and was given stale food to eat.
"Some days ago, the girl was ironing the woman's uniform and by mistake, she apparently burnt her clothes. She is a 10-year-old child. What do you expect from her? When the accused woman saw this, she burnt the little girl with the same iron,” the girl's uncle alleged.
The victim's family demanded strict action against the accused couple and said they should be taught a lesson so that no one dares to commit such an offence with any poor person.
Meanwhile, Delhi Commission For Women chief Swati Maliwal condemned the incident and said that the strictest action should be taken against such "merciless people" for keeping a minor girl as a domestic servant and brutally torturing her.
"A 10-year-old girl was kept as a domestic servant by a female pilot and her husband in Delhi and was brutally tortured. An answer has been sought from Delhi Police in this matter. Strictest action should be taken against such merciless people," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
On the complaint of accused Poornima, an FIR has been filed against unknown people under 323 (Voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC, the police said.
Efforts are on to identify the people, who thrashed the woman, from the videos being circulated on social media and they will face action, they said.