New York: A young woman from India has filed a federal lawsuit accusing a government official from her country of enslaving her in New York City, forcing her to work 16-hour days without pay.
Shanti Gurung says in her lawsuit filed Thursday that she was "essentially kidnapped" from India in 2006 at age 17 and was ordered to give daily massages and perform other chores.
The suit says Gurung was held in involuntary servitude for more than three years by the official, Neena Malhotra (MAHL'-hot-rah), and her husband, Jogesh Malhotra. The suit said Neena Malhotra is now assigned to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.
The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages says Gurung — now 21 — was paid only USD 120 over 40 months.
A message left with the Consulate General of India in Manhattan was not immediately returned.
Meanwhile, the senior IFS officer has refused to comment on the subject.
When reached for a reaction by a news agency Malhotra asked for the caller's identity and after ascertaining that, disconnected the phone.
First Published: Sunday, July 04, 2010, 17:58