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DMK leader's son and wife accused of abusing, torturing domestic help

The victim, from a scheduled caste, alleges physical assaults, non-payment of wages, and denial of medical care for injuries sustained during her employment. Despite serious claims, Karunanithi dismisses them, citing support for the girl's education

DMK leader's son and wife accused of abusing, torturing domestic help
First Published Jan 19, 2024, 1:27 PM IST

Anto Mathivanan, son of DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) MLA I Karunanithi, and his wife Marlina find themselves embroiled in a controversy as serious accusations of abusing and torturing an 18-year-old domestic help have surfaced. The victim, belonging to a scheduled caste, worked in Mathivanan's house for seven months, intending to secure coaching for the medical entrance exam NEET.

The disturbing revelations came to light through a video shared by Evidence, a non-profit organization, where the girl narrated the harrowing experiences she allegedly endured. The accusations include physical assaults for minor errors, non-payment of wages, and a lack of medical attention for injuries sustained during the reported abuse. One particularly distressing incident mentioned involved the burning of the girl's hands using a hair straightener.

Despite the gravity of the accusations, Karunanithi, the father of Anto Mathivanan, dismissed the claims. He asserted that his son's family treated the girl well and only disciplined her when warranted. He emphasized their support for her education, including the purchase of jewelry, and denied any involvement in the alleged mistreatment.

The police became aware of the situation when the girl returned home for the festival of Pongal, and her family observed her injuries. Subsequent medical examinations at a government hospital reportedly revealed injury marks and cigarette burns, prompting suspicion of abuse. As of now, the girl and her family have not filed an official complaint, leaving room for further investigation.

Karunanithi suggested a potential political motive behind the accusations, insinuating that someone on the phone influenced the girl to raise false claims. He maintained that he has no connection to the incident, citing infrequent visits to his son's residence.

The veracity of the allegations and the ongoing police investigation will be crucial in determining the truth behind this contentious case, which has sparked public scrutiny and discussions on the treatment of domestic help.

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