Chained and left to rot, senior citizen walks to freedom

Family fettered him on the terrace for one-and-a-half years

Chained and left to rot, senior citizen walks to freedom

A 93-year-old man was rescued by the City police from the terrace of his house near Banashankari Temple where his family had allegedly chained him for the last one-and-a-half years. The nonagenarian was hardly fed, and left to defecate in a narrow open space.

Anantaiah Setty was on Wednesday found chained below an elevated platform erected for the overhead tank.

H S Revanna, DCP (South), said he was “shocked” to find the elderly man in such an “inhuman” condition. “The space was not secure from the scorching sun, the biting cold and harsh rains. He was simply at the mercy of God,” Revanna said. “The space was stinking as he had been defecating in the open. He was fed in the same filthy place.”

Setty, who was later shifted to Jayanagar General Hospital, said his family was “indifferent” to his plight. “They didn’t look after me well. Not a single day in the last 18 months did they give me two square meals. I was left with no option but to beg in the neighbourhood,” he told Deccan Herald.

The incident came to light when residents of Shakambari Nagar, where the family lives, tipped off a Kannada news channel about Setty. Residents attributed their activism to the rescue of P Hemavathi who was allegedly confined to her house for a decade. The television channel, with police in tow, then “raided” the house.

‘Mentally unsound’

As the police team went to rescue Setty, his third son Suresh Kumar and daughter-in-law Kalpana ran up to the terrace, claiming  Setty was mentally unsound.
“His condition had not improved even after medical care. He had become a social nuisance. Hence, we chained him,” they said.

The police team, however, rescued the man against his family’s wishes. Revanna said the JP Nagar police had taken up a suo motu case of illegal confinement. Kumar and Kalpana were arrested, and released on bail by the 5th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM).

Father of four well-settled sons who live in separate houses, and two daughters, Setty said Suresh Kumar and Kalpana chained him on the terrace a year and a half ago. “They would take me in only at night and when it rained,” he added. His son as well as the neighbours, however, claimed he was chained just six months ago. “Setty is incoherent and cannot even speak clearly,” they said.

Hope not lost

Setty says he has not lost all hope. He wishes to get adequate medical care and lead a normal life again. A native of Maralavadi village in Kanakapura taluk, Setty is resolute in his decision to not go back to his family. “I wish someone takes me to an ashram in Maralavadi,” he said. “At least I’ll get two square meals a day there.”
Doctors at Jayanagar General Hospital say Setty has lost reflexes in his left leg which was chained. He also had a festering wound in the ankle due to the rubbing of chain.
Detailed examination

Setty underwent a detailed medical examination and was referred to Jayadeva Hospital for electrocardiography. He was then shifted back to Jayanagar General Hospital. Several tests were to be conducted on him to ascertain the exact condition of his health, a senior doctor at the hospital said. The procedure would take a day.

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