Man kept captive for 17 years by mother rescued

Oct 15, 2012, 10:37 IST | Agencies

A 35-year-old man, who was kept in captivity for 17 years by his mother, was rescued Sunday by a lawmaker and doctors from a village in Karnataka.

A 35-year-old man, held captive in a dingy room for 17 years by his mother who claimed he was mentally unstable, was rescued Sunday by a lawmaker and doctors in Karnataka, police said.

Keshva Murthy (35) was rescued from a village near Davangere in central Karnataka.

"We have learnt that Keshva Murthy was rescued from a house where he was kept locked up for 17 years by his mother Chowdamma at Lokkapura village near Jagulur," Davangere Superintendent of Police Labu Ram said.

On learning that an unkempt Murthy, sporting a long beard and locks of hair, was kept in a dungeon without access to toilet by his mother, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator SV Ramachandra rushed to Jagulur with a team of doctors and set him free, he said.

"Our local police officer is investigating the matter as no case has been registered so far against the mother. Murthy has been taken to Bangalore for medical check-up at Nimhans (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences)," he said.

"We are waiting for a report from the regional commissioner who has been informed about the captivity," Ram said.

When news about Murthy's confinement appeared first in the local media, neighbours complained to the local authorities against his mother.

"We are verifying for how many years the mother locked up the son and reasons for that. We are not sure if it was for 10 years or 15 years. We will know after a through inquiry," Ram noted.

According to neighbours, Murthy was locked up because of his violent behaviour and his objection to his mother becoming a Devadasi (a servant of god), a religious tradition in southern India in which young women "marry" a deity (god) for boons.

With the help of neighbours and locals, Ramachandra brought out Murthy from the dingy room after raiding the house and breaking down the wall that had an upper window through which he was served food but not allowed to even go for nature's call.

Ramachandra was not available for comments on his rescue.

After accompanying doctors checked Murthy's physical health, a barber was summoned to give him a haircut and shave off his unkempt beard. He was also given a head bath and new clothes to wear.

"We wanted him to feel free and fresh, as he was smelly and unhygienic as he didn't take bath for years," said a doctor who attended to him.

Murthy was, however, incoherent and did not respond to queries by local reporters on his welfare and whereabouts.

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