On April 2, a 17-year-old maid named Phool Muni, a native of Gosai in Assam, reportedly committed suicide from the balcony of ninth floor of the Gopalan Grandeur apartment complex in Whitefield of Bengaluru.

 

She was a victim of trafficking who was allegedly abused by her employers for five years before Phool decided to end her life. The owners made her sleep on newspapers, locked her in the balcony and also beaten up regularly for not being able to cope up with the upscale lifestyle of her employers, reported the Bangalore Mirror. 

 

While investigating the death of Phool, police have discovered that the Delhi-based agency Milan Enterprises that sent her to work with 70-year-old women reportedly also sent or rather sold 150 other girls to various different people in Bengaluru. 

 

However, the data that the agency provided to the investigating official about the location of these girls do not match their current location which is a big problem in rescuing these girls; the report quoted a senior official as saying. For example, Phool was sent as a maid of an old woman in Delhi but was brought to Bengaluru. 

 

The probe has revealed that this agency ‘placed’ almost 150 girls in various households as maids for ₹50000 each making it a case of slavery, bondage and human trafficking. Phool’s employers are a couple Vishal Mutt and his wife Garima Grover. Garima paid ₹40000 to the agency first and later in paid ₹80000 in instalments and they reportedly had no idea about the fact that she was a victim of trafficking. 

 

The neighbours and other residents of the posh Gopalan Grandeur stated that Phool was a simple, quiet girl who was a maid of the couple who has a kid. According to one of the resident, the neighbours regularly heard the girl crying inside the house and they also learned that she was beaten by the husband and the wife. Another neighbour also said that Phool was once slapped in front of others by an elderly woman living with the couple. 

 

Initially, the resident did not say anything respecting the privacy of the family but the regularly of the cruelty forced them to intervene. But, the couple responded coldly, also denied some allegations, and Garima said that since Phool struggled to cope up with the lifestyle they hit her, the report quoted the residents. In fact, Phool was also not paid for her services.

 

A few days before the suicide, the residents reported to have stopped hearing the cries and they presumed that perhaps the employers have started treating her better.  

 

Initially, the police registered a case under CrPC 174 (c) for mysterious death but later on booked the couple for abetment to suicide and trafficking. However, as of yet, no arrest have been made as the couple has a six-month-old child.