Ranchi: A suspended BJP leader was arrested this morning on suspicion of torturing her domestic help at her Jharkhand home, including smashing her teeth with an iron rod and starving her.
Seema Patra was apprehended after her son revealed the horrific abuse to a friend, a government officer, and requested assistance.
She told the media she was framed as she was being led away by police. “I am not guilty,” she stated.
Seema Patra allegedly admitted her son to a hospital after he allegedly exposed her. “He was unwell,” she claimed when asked why her son was in hospital.
She was placed in judicial custody for 14 days.
On Tuesday, the BJP suspended Seema Patra after a video of her domestic help accusing her of torture went viral. According to the party, a committee has been formed to investigate the incident.
Ms Patra was a member of the BJP’s women’s wing’s national working committee, and her husband, Maheshwar Patra, is a retired IAS officer.
Sunita, her maid, had been with her for ten years.
Sunita is seen in the video lying in a hospital bed with wounds on her body and face. The 29-year-old woman could barely speak as she claimed she was tortured and beaten with rods and an iron pan while being held captive. She couldn’t sit up because many of her teeth were missing.
She alleged that she was forced to lick urine off the floor. “She also broke my teeth with an iron rod,” Sunita said.
She allegedly went days without food or water. Ms Patra’s son Ayushman, she claimed, was the one who saved her. “I am only alive because of him,” she said in the video, sobbing.
Sunita was rescued last week after Ayushman, who was apparently disturbed by the abuse, confided in a friend, shared videos with him, and asked him to assist. His friend, government officer Vivek Anand Baskey, went to the police.
Ms Patra allegedly admitted her son to Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Sciences after discovering he was attempting to assist Sunita.
Officials said that after rescuing her from the Patras’ home, police took her to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) for treatment.
Sunita’s videos, which are now widely circulated, have elicited strong reactions. Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais met with DGP Neeraj Sinha yesterday and expressed “serious concern” about the delay in taking action against the suspended BJP leader.
According to police, no evidence has been found against Ms Patra’s husband.
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