Husband confines his wife for 11 years and claims- “I have done nothing wrong”

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Another sad story of a woman confined in a room for 11 years has come to light. On Tuesday, a women-based NGO group rescued a 51-year-old woman locked in a congested room for the past 11 years. The woman was recognized as Rajeshri Phadte. The one-room house is situated in a remote, wasteland area- Talauli, Ponda. The police affirmed that Rajeshri had been stranded in the room by her husband – Rajendra Phadte. 

Rajeshri was found sleeping cramped under a table with a dim light. According to The Goan, the ‘victim assistance unit’ and NGO ‘Scan Goa’ volunteers who rescued the woman, found that she was living in inhuman conditions.

This particular incident is not the first of its kind. There have been several past shocking incidents where women were locked and ill-treated. One such incident was Sunita Vernekar’s case. She was found confined in a dark room for nearly 20 years. Follow-ups of the Sunita Vernekar’s case – Goa Prism.

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The recent case of Rajeshri Phadte has revealed some awful past behind her 11 years confinement. According to Navhind Times, Phadte had married Rajeshri 15 years back. The couple lived in the same place at Talauli.  After a few months of their marriage, his wife apparently suffered from an unknown disease. Phadte took care of her for some years, but subsequently remarried another woman and started living with his second wife and child in a separate rented accommodation at Kavlem- Bandora.

According to the Police, during the interrogation, Phadte constantly claimed that he had not left his wife alone completely, but would visit her daily serving tea and food. Due to her worsened conditions, he would lock her in the one-room house. “Her condition was very bad, and she was unable to move. That’s why I used to latch the house from outside.  I couldn’t take care of her due to my economic conditions”

Police personnel informed to ‘The Goan’ that Rajeshri’s condition was very bad. “The woman was in a very sorry state and there were no proper facilities available”.

Her condition has raged people, especially since the husband was happily living with the second wife. He decided to lock her up in a dirty congested room when he could have easily handed her over to a medical care centre. “No human would be able to live in such conditions and that too, for about 11 years,” said the police. Phadte has been booked under charges of the offence and also for remarrying another woman when his wife was still married to him.

In The Goan, it has been mentioned how Phadte shared his side of the story-

Due to Rajeshri’s inability to walk she was taken care of in the first five years of marriage. Phadte even took her to a doctor with a successful treatment. He says, “I may have lost those medical papers, but I did not ignore her well-being”.

Phadte defends himself by stating that none of his wife’s family members (Parents, two brothers and a sister) cared to visit her. “I have done nothing wrong. I have taken care and used to provide her with food every day. The only problem was to clean her as she could not stand,” Says Phadte.  He also says that the locals were aware of it and never said anything because he visited her daily.

Looking at the women’s condition the police find it really hard to believe anything that Phadte admitted. It also seems that he tried to reject the allegations put on him. Currently, 51-year-old Rajeshri has been taken to the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour,  Bambolim. The woman is still unaware of things happening around her. Police say that at the time of rescue it was really difficult to get through her or even ask her anything.

Many cases like Rajeshri Phadte’s case have been occurring on a constant basis. In Goa, nearly four similar cases had been brought up in 2018. People are locked up and treated like animals with improper basic needs. Everyone has a right to live properly and thus the Police are taking this case very seriously. More details from this case shall be unfolded once the complete investigation is done. Please share your views on the above case.