'He was an embarrassment to the family'

'He was an embarrassment to the family'

The story of Anantaiah Setty, the 93-year-old man who was chained on the terrace of his house by his family, is heart-wrenching.

Setty came to Bangalore four decades ago. He made a living from selling sweetmeat and running a grocery shop at Kalasipalya. He built a small house at Shakambari Nagar years ago.

He has four sons — Venkatesh Gupta, Sanath Kumar, Suresh Kumar and Girish Kumar and two daughters — Girija and Anitha. Venkatesh parted ways in 1990 and began living just behind his house.

As Setty aged, his sons took control of his business. A few years ago when Anitha was being married off, Suresh convinced his siblings to mortgage the house, Venkatesh’s wife Aruna said.

Suresh got Setty’s signature and then registered the house in his name, Aruna alleged. The house was then demolished, and in its place a three-storeyed building was built. Suresh ran a grocery shop on the ground floor and lived on the second floor. Girish occupied the first floor.

Setty and his wife, Naragarathnamma, lived with Suresh. When Naragarathnamma died four years ago and Setty’s health worsened, his children began neglecting him. “Father told me two years ago that he was not being looked after well,” Girish told Deccan Herald.

“I brought him home and he was happy. But Suresh quarrelled with me and took him back.”

Meanwhile, Setty’s health deteriorated further. “He was seen crawling on the road. He said he had lost control over his senses, and would defecate in the open.
Suresh’s wife Kalpana also ill-treated him,” Krishnappa, a neighbour, said.

Aruna said his father-in-law would often ask her for food. “But whenever we fed him, Suresh and Kalpana would pick fights with us. They thought he was complaining to the world that they don’t feed him,” Arun recalled. Girish confirmed what Aruna said.

‘No option’

Kalpana told the police personnel who came to rescue Setty that he was “an embarrassment to us. We had no option but to chain him during the day,” she maintained.

Rangamma, a neighbour who was earlier a domestic help at Setty’s house, lamented her former employer’s pathetic condition.

“He gave me a job 30 years ago. He lived like a king,” she recalled. “He built the house and educated his children. Now, look what he got in return.”

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