Bangalore: Aananthaiah Shetty, 74, who was found chained on the roof of his son’s house in Bangalore, is now recovering in hospital and will soon move to a shelter run by a private trust for the elderly.
Mr Shetty was rescued by the police on Wednesday after neighbours called them. They took him to the General Hospital where doctors say he was brought in very poor condition. “He was stinking. He was malnourished and had respiratory infection as well as neurological and cardiac problems. We are treating him accordingly,” said Dr B G Saroja, the hospital superintendent.
A social activist Saravana, has offered to take Mr Shetty to a shelter which houses about 200 elderly people once he leaves hospital. “We are going to admit him there and we are going to support him. Whatever he likes I am ready to do. His sons have agreed to admit him there,” Mr Saravana said.
For months, Mr Shetty lay on a faded mattress, a steel plate lying beside him. Disturbing images before he was unchained show him crouching under a small enclose under the water tank on the roof. “They tied me up today… they give me food, rice and saru…” said the man to a local television channel on Wednesday.
The cops who found him said, “There was a foul smell…it was totally unhygienic.”
The senior citizen’s son, Suresh Hanumanthaiah Shetty, lives in a lower middle-class neighbourhood and admitted that they chained his father regularly. “He would keep making the house dirty. So in the morning we bring him and keep him here. In the evening we take him inside,” he said.
The son claimed that they fed the old man three square meals a day, though doctors have now confirmed that he was brought to hospital malnourished. His wife, Kalpana, said that her father-in-law was chained not because he often suffered from diarrhea and so would “dirty the house,” but because “he might fall down the stairs. That is the only reason…six months ago, he fell from the steps in another son’s house.”
The horrors of his story follow that of a 34-year-old woman who was rescued from her parents’ home in Bangalore on Tuesday where she was kept locked up for five years.
Chained and left to rot, senior citizen walks to freedom
Bangalore, June 5, 2013, DHNS :
Family fettered him on the terrace for one-and-a-half years
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.
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.
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.