KARACHI, Nov 24: A young domestic servant has allegedly been kept in illegal confinement by his employer at her house in Defence Housing Society.

The boy, Mustafa, 11, was reportedly hired by her for Rs9,600 on a ‘one-year contract’. The advance payment was made to his parents, Mr Noshair and Ms Wallen, who are settled in Hyderabad after escaping from a bonded labour camp run by a landlord in Sadiqabad. The couple have eight other children – five daughters and three sons.

According to the parents, the employer is refusing to relieve Mustafa after his contract expired. “She subjects him to torture and also threatens him with hot iron if he tries to escape,” they alleged.

While in confinement, the boy somehow managed to contact his parents to complain of the treatment meted out to him. The couple rushed to Karachi to rescue him but the employer refused to let off the child unless a substitute is provided by the patents, the other option being refund of Rs6,000 out of the money paid in advance.The shocked couple approached the Clifton Town Police Officer SP Azad Khan for help.

SP Khan told this scribe that the matter had been brought to his notice and he had asked the poor couple to submit a formal application with the police so that appropriate action could be initiated. “We will definitely take action on the complaint as the case seems to be one of solitary confinement,” he added.

Noshair confirmed having received Rs9,600 in advance about a year back and agreeing to send Mustafa to work as a domestic servant. “We are poor and cannot meet the employer’s demand for a refund,” he maintained, and argued that the child had already served the period for which they had been paid the amount.

The couple later sought the help of an NGO, the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (Sparc), in the matter. The Regional Manager of the Society’s Sindh chapter, Akhtar Baloch, said: “We talked to the boy’s employer on the telephone but she denied having the child at her house. However, soon afterwards, she dialled Noshair’s cellphone and threatened him with dire consequences.”

Mr Akhtar said that his society had submitted an application with the TPO Clifton, who assured me of his full cooperation.

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