‘Magalir Mattum’ Actress Accused of Harassing Minor Domestic Help

The 14 year old girl’s mother has complained.

Yesteryear actress Bhanupriya, known for her performance in iconic movies such as Aararo Aariraro and Azhagan, has been accused of mentally and physically harassing her teenaged domestic help. According to various reports, a middle-aged woman, who is the mother of the help, approached the Samarlakota police in East Godavari district yesterday.

The mother alleges that her daughter was not paid her salary and was constantly being harassed by the family, particularly Bhanupriya’s brother. Moreover, the help’s family was not allowed to meet her either. The mother states in her complaint that her daughter was employed at the actress’ house via agents with the sum of Rs 10,000 being her salary every month. However, soon after she started working, there were no communications between the girl and her family.

What tipped them off was an anonymous call that said that the girl was being harassed by Bhanupriya’s brother Gopala Krishna. The mother wrote in her complaint that Bhanupriya’s family demanded Rs 10 lakh in order to release the girl. They even accused her of stealing valuables such as jewellery, iPad, and other valuables.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Bhanupriya said: “Our domestic help has been working with us for over a year. She has stolen an iPad, jewellery, cash and a camera and given them to her mother. She and her mother have confessed to the crime and returned the camera and iPad, and Padma left to her village on the pretext of getting cash and jewellery.”

The actress has also said that she is unaware of the girl’s age.

Meanwhile, employing anybody below the age of 14 is an offence under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act 2016. The Act states:

“Whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention of the provisions of section 3 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years, or with fine which shall not be less than twenty thousand rupees but which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both: Provided that the parents or guardians of such children shall not be punished unless they permit such child for commercial purposes in contravention of the provisions of section 3.”

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