Woman incarcerated by family for 8 years

July 10th, 2008 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, July 10 (IANS) Madhu Malhotra, a woman in her 30s, looked several decades older when the police Wednesday freed her from an eight-year-long incarceration in a cell-type room at her parents’ home here. She has been admitted to the Government Psychiatric Hospital where her condition was described as “pathetic”. The woman, who looked dishevelled and dazed with deep wrinkles on her face, was confined by her family after her husband deserted her after she became mentally ill. Spending a long period in darkness has also affected Madhu’s sight. She was given food and only allowed to attend to calls of nature.

Police raided her parent’s house after neighbours informed them about the plight of the woman. However, they could not explain why they themselves had kept mum for years about Madhu’s illegal confinement.

Neighbours said Madhu, who was married to Sandeep Malhotra of Pathankot, Punjab, about 13 years ago, developed psychological problems after she gave birth to a son. Sandeep took away their son Rahul with him after her condition worsened.

“Instead of providing her treatment, Sandeep dropped off Madhu at her parents’ home in Jammu,” one of the neighbours, who did not want to be named, told media persons.

Her parents cared for her for some time but then left her to her fate in a small room, instead of taking her to a hospital.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, Alok Kumar said the police have registered a case of illegal confinement.

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