LONDON: One of the three women alleged to have been kept as “slaves” by a Maoist sect has been secretly reunited with her sister.
Kamar Mahutm arrived in London earlier this week to try to persuade Malaysian Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab, 69, to fly back to her home country.
Scotland Yard is investigating claims Aishah, who moved to Britain in 1968, and two other women were held as slaves for 30 years in a flat in Brixton, London.
Aravindan Balakrishnan, 73, known as Comrade Bala, and his wife, Chanda, 67, were arrested last week and bailed to January in connection with the allegations.
The couple ran an extreme left wing Maosit militant group which had several clashes with the police during the height of their activism in the 1970s.
Mrs Mahtum, 73, met up with her sister – thought to be the first time since her family flew to the UK to try to convince her to return home in the 1980s – at a location several hours away from London. She said: “Basically it was a very emotional day, very revealing.
“But then I was contented. I got what I wanted and I can go home with beautiful memories and I’ve a feeling she may want to come home eventually and we are working hard to persuade her.”
Malaysian woman, 69, Irish woman, 57, and British woman, 30, rescued from the captivity where they were kept for more than three decades as slaves and British lady is believed to have never known freedom. Malaysian woman, one of three women London Police recovered from an apartment is reunited with her sister. Police arrested a man of Indian origin Aravindan
The reunion of Malaysian lady Aesha Wahab was a very emotional scene, they hugged and talked at a secret London location. Several Malaysian relatives have come forward in recent days to say Aesha Wahab was among the three women freed last month from a Brixton apartment after 30 years of brainwashing and beating.
Kaum Mautum said the family had missed Aesha desperately. “It was a very emotional day, very revealing as I meet my sister, Aesha Wahab”.
The family had not heard from Aesha Wahab since the early 1970s, when she joined a Maoist commune in London. She was found last month, living in an apartment where investigators said they had been treated as slaves.
Investigators said the 30-year-old British woman found at the apartment may have been born and raised in the home.
Video has also surfaced from an ITV News documentary that shows what is believed to be Herivel and Mautum turning away reporters from the London apartment in 1997. The program was about the cultish appeal of Balakrishnan, aka “Comrade Bala,” and his virulent Communist group.
Aesha Wahab went to London in 1968 on a scholarship to study surveying, where she came under the influence of a Maoist cult and stop communicating with them more than 40 years ago, the Wahab’s family said.
A charity declared it a shocking ordeal as Aesha had stroke but was denied medical help’ and captors only saw daylight to hang out washing or help captors with shopping. The three women apparently spent their days carrying out mundane household chores in an ordinary, unremarkable house in the heart of south London.
They were allowed to watch television, although they were restricted to viewing only news channels.
They also appeared to have access to a mobile phone which they used to make their escape.
Yet they lived in such abject terror of their controllers that for 30 years they never considered the possibility of escape until they happened to watch a television programme on forced marriages which prompted one of them to call the Freedom Charity for help.