Sat, 18 Sep 2010 14:04:27 GMT

Worst crimes of the week: 'Mentally ill' Delhi girl locked up

This week's worst crimes include the case of a 27 year-old mentally ill girl in Delhi who was locked in a dark 3X6 feet room for last three years. She was not even permitted to bathe, and the room served as her toilet as well as dining room. In anothr case, a 13-year-old Delhi girl and her two younger brothers were allegedly gangraped for over a year by five men led by the driver of the van in which they went to school.

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'Mentally ill' Delhi girl locked up by mother for three years

There were a lot of things 27 year-old Sahista wanted, the most prominent among them being good food, a walk in the sunlight and a change of clothes. But then, if you had spent the last three years of your life locked in a dark 3X6 feet room, the smallest of life's pleasures could be beyond reach.

Sahista, who was rescued by an NGO, Sudinalay, with the help of the police at 2 pm on Friday, had been allegedly locked up by her mother in a room of her house (No 1632/34) in Kucha Dakhni Rai, Daryaganj, since 2007. For all these years, she was not even permitted to bathe, and the room served as her toilet as well as dining room. Every now and then, her mother would reportedly feed her bread and water.

After preliminary investigations, it was revealed that Sahista's mother, Akhtar Jahan, had locked her up on the fourth floor as she was mentally unstable.

Though an IHBAS (Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences) card found in Sahista's room indicated that the victim had been taken there for treatment in January last year, she was not found to be on medication. Sources said instead of giving her medical attention and care, Ja han had chosen to lock her up.

While the girl looked weak and scared, she seemed happy about being able to come out of the dingy room after all these years. "I am Sahista," she introduced herself in a whisper, then hastened to ask: "Where's my sister?" After being rescued, Sahista was brought to the Daryaganj police station with the help of two women constables and then taken to IHBAS for treatment.

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