| Nirmal Naskar. Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha
Calcutta, June 16: Neighbours today rescued a 74-year-old man, who was kept in captivity by his brother in Baruipur because he refused to hand over his property.
Nirmal Naskar had been a prisoner in his own home — at Chandkhali in Kumarhata, about 35 km from here — for the last six months for not giving up his land and house worth Rs 10-12 lakh.
His neighbours today lodged a complaint, after which police arrived at Nirmal’s house and freed him.
His brother Sukumar and his wife Shipra have been detained. The neighbours told the police that the couple would torture Nirmal and deny him food.
“They forced him to live in filth. He was hardly allowed to take a bath. He had become mentally unstable, but they never got him treated,” said Phanibhusan Mondal, Nirmal’s next-door neighbour.
The incident comes less than two months after another Baruipur resident — Madhabi Das — was rescued by her neighbours. She had been allegedly locked up for 15 years by her family.
The police said Nirmal was very weak when they rescued him. “We found him very distressed. He was feeble and emanciated. It appeared that he had not been getting food regularly. We took him to the Baruipur district hospital,” said an officer.
Sukumar, a retired teacher, brushed off the torture charge, but admitted that he had locked up his brother. “We kept him in a room as he made our life miserable,” he said.
The district superintendent of police, South 24-Parganas, S.N. Gupta, said action would be taken after a proper investigation. “I have asked my officers to make adequate arrangements for Nirmal’s treatment first. At present, we are interrogating Sukumar and his wife,” he said.