Hyderabad, July 18: A 32-year-old woman has been rescued from over 20 years of captivity in her parents’ home for refusing to live with her husband 23 years her senior, police said.
Andhra police last week raided the East Godavari district home of Venkata Satya Anantalakshmi’s parents after hearing strange cries coming from inside. They found the woman — also called Baby — badly dehydrated and lying in a room she has been chained in since she returned home soon after her 1990 wedding
Baby was married to her 35-year-old maternal uncle, Eshwar Rao, when she was 12. Her parents Madasu Suryaprakash and Nagamani, who are Dalit Christians, allegedly agreed to marry her off because the groom owned property.
Baby, however, returned home soon after the wedding and refused to go back. Her sister was then married to the same man, the police said.
For her “sin”, Baby was kept chained to a pillar in her room through the day, not allowed even to goto church or attend her sister’s wedding, the police said. She was given just enough food to survive and allowed to lie down only at night.
Baby told the police from her Routhulapudi government hospital bed: “I was mentally and physically harassed and assaulted by my parents and relatives for over two decades. I was not allowed to even go to church.”
Some neighbours knew of her predicament but kept silent out of fear, the police said. She was not given proper clothes to wear, nor was she allowed to watch TV or listen to music.
“I was denied every nice thing and was forced to live like a nun,” Baby alleged.
After the police raided their home, Baby’s parents claimed she was “mentally unstable”. She has filed a police complaint against them and is now being cared for by a relative.
Cases have been filed against the parents and her former husband, who is a Congress leader. The parents could not be contacted for comment. No arrests have been made.