New Delhi: A witness told a court here on Monday that former parliamentarian Dhananjay Singh's wife beat their servants with door bolts, iron rods and antlers, kicked and strangulated them and even burnt his body with a hot iron.
Testifying as a prosecution witness in the maid torture case, 19-year-old Ramphal told Additional Sessions Judge Amit Bansal that Dhananjay Singh's wife Jagriti Singh was a woman of "short temper" and mercilessly beat him and the other two domestic helps over petty issues.
He said he was not paid anything while working as a domestic help.
The court was hearing a case against the Bahujan Samaj Party leader who is facing trial on charges of destruction of evidence in the torture and murder of his maid. His wife Jagriti Singh is facing charges of murder.
Ramphal told the court that he worked as domestic help in the parliamentarian's residence in south Delhi from December 2012 and was not paid any money.
A woman named Meena was also working as domestic help in the residence, while the deceased maid Rakhi joined 3-4 months after him, he said.
"On April 1, 2013, Jagriti assaulted Rakhi and cut her hair after she was late in preparing food," the witness told the court.
On the same day, Jagriti punched and kicked him in his private parts, he said.
"After that day, she used to beat us (the three domestic helps) over small issues with horns of deer, wooden sticks, and scratched our faces with nails. She used to strangulate us and even put a door bolt in our mouths and rolled it, which caused an injury to my lips," he said.
"When blood came out, Jagriti said 'Khoon dekhkar daya nahin aati hai, jao khoon saaf karke aao' (I don't feel any remorse, go and wash it)," Ramphal told the court.
He also said Jagriti once hit him on his head with an iron rod.
Around 15-20 days before the maid's death, Jagriti burnt his stomach with a hot iron on the false pretext that he broke a glass in the kitchen and did not even provide him medicine.
However, Ramphal told the court that Dhananjay Singh did not beat them.
The court fixed the matter for July 20 for further hearing.
The former parliamentarian is under trial for destruction of evidence, and the court has dropped other charges against him.
It has framed charges under Indian Penal Code sections dealing with murder, criminal intimidation against Jagriti.
In the charge sheet, police said Jagriti used to mercilessly beat her three domestic helps and compelled them to work by holding them captive. One of the maids died in November 2013.
Dhananjay Singh is out on bail while Jagriti, a dental surgeon at a government hospital here, is lodged in Tihar jail. Dhananjay Singh was chargesheeted on February 1 last year.