Homemaker minus home - Tortured and shunned

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  • Published 30.01.08

Madhabi Das, 41, staying in a rescue centre for the past year, is crying to return home, where she had been imprisoned for 15 years, and locked in a room for the last five. But her family members do not want her back.

“I want to go back home. When will my husband and daughter come to fetch me?” Madhabi keeps asking her minders in Antaragram, the rescue centre in Baruipur, on the southern fringes of the city.

Police took the Baruipur resident to Antaragram on April 28 last year after neighbours rescued her. Almost reduced to a skeleton, she was found lying naked on a cot in a dark, stinking room on the first floor of her in-laws’ house on Umacharan Ray Road. There was only a mat and two steel plates in the room and her body bore burns. “She was forced to relieve herself in the room,” said a neighbour who was in the team that rescued Madhabi.

Madhabi’s husband Madhu, 17-year-old daughter and mother-in-law Amala were arrested on charges of torture and wrongful confinement. They told the police that they had kept Madhabi confined in the room as she was mentally unstable.

“True, when she came here she was a mental wreck. But now she is fit enough to return home,” said Colonel (retd) P. Chowdhury, the medical superintendent of the home. He alleged that her family members are not ready to accept that Madhabi has recovered. “They want her to stay in Antaragram for the rest of her life,” said a home official.

The home authorities have written to Madhabi’s husband, but there has been no response. When Metro contacted the family members, they refused to speak.