Indian authorities rescued a woman who had been kept locked up by her husband for years in a bathroom at her home due to an alleged mental illness alleged by the man, but which has not yet been confirmed. The incident occurred in the state of Haryana, in northern India, where the capital, New Delhi, is located.
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The rescue took place last Tuesday (13), when the official of the Department of Protection of Women and Prohibition of Child Marriage Rajni Gupta received a complaint, but the fact was only broadcast by the local press on Thursday (14).
Gupta told Efe Agency that she mobilized a team to investigate the case of the 39-year-old woman, who was locked in a bathroom, where her husband had kept her for years, with the collaboration of the couple’s children, as she allegedly suffered from a mental illness, which has not yet been confirmed.
The victim, according to the official, was found in a bathroom on the first floor of the house in a “pitiful” state and was visibly malnourished and her clothes and body were soiled with “excrement”.
The deputy superintendent of the Panipat District Police, where the couple lived, Satish Kumar, said the husband was arrested and that the woman does not appear to have any mental instability.
Kumar explained that the authorities are still waiting for the result of the victim’s medical examination and that, meanwhile, she is meeting with direct relatives and is being bathed and fed.
Although women’s mental health problems are apparently unfounded, cases like this are not uncommon among people who have some form of disorder, especially in developing countries, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The NGO published a report this month, in which it reports that “hundreds of thousands of people with mental health problems are chained in about 60 countries around the world”.
“People can spend years chained to trees, locked in cages or barns because families have difficulties dealing with the problem and governments do not provide adequate mental health services,” explains the researcher and one of the authors of the report, Kriti Sharma.
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