Hyderabadi maid in Saudi Arabia died of natural causes: Government

An Indian woman, who was reportedly tortured to death by her sponsor in Saudi Arabia, had died of tuberculosis, the government said on Monday.

Following media reports that Asima Khatoon, of Hyderabad, died on May 2 after being tortured by her sponsor, the Indian embassy sent one of its officials to King Saud Chest Disease Hospital, Riyadh, one of the reputed hospitals for tuberculosis in the Gulf nation on Monday, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

“He (the embassy official) was told by the mortuary in-charge that she was admitted in the hospital on April 27 and later on shifted to the ICU.

“The death was due to natural reasons and he was informed that all the requisite documents have been handed over to the sponsor for submission to the embassy,” he said.

According to Swarup, the sponsor had visited the embassy on May 3 when the matter was not reported in the media and again on Monday, for completing the documentation in order to transport the mortal remains to India.

“As per the death report, she died on May 2 due to ‘disseminated TB and multi-organ failure’,” he said.

“Further, according to the report, she received anti-TB drugs in 2012 for three months.”

Swarup further said that, according to the sponsor, Khatoon worked with him for about four months and 16 days for which he deposited with the embassy five months’ salary.

“Our embassy is in touch with the family of the deceased in India to determine future course of action,” he said.

However, Asima’s family in Hyderabad maintained on Monday that she died due to alleged torture by her employer.