It was one idli in the morning, a dry neer dosa and nothing else for the rest of the day.
In nine months, nine inmates unable to stand the harsh treatment, are said to have died at Ashraya Rehabilitation Centre. The ordeal ended when all 27 surviving inmates, including senior citizens, mentally and physically challenged, were rescued by officials from the Women and Child Welfare Department on Sunday night. Centre owner Upendra Nayak was arrested on Monday.
All the inmates, including 14 women, rescued from the illegal centre near Nanthoor, were shifted to the District Wenlock Hospital. The Women and Child Welfare Department launched the rescue operation following complaints from locals. Neighbours told police that they had no clue about the centre till Sunday. That evening, they had seen a woman attempting to flee by scaling a wall. The neighbours could not intervene as the owner began beating her. They said that the police knew about the centre as they had paid a couple of visits.
Women and Child Welfare Department deputy director Shankuntala A launched the raid after receiving complaints of inhuman treatment meted out to the inmates. By allegedly beating the inmates, the owner violated the rights of the hapless people, she added.
When officials, including Child Welfare Commission chairperson Asha Nayak stepped into the house, they were greeted with a stench of urine and soiled clothes. They found the kitchen bare with not a single morsel of food.
An elderly inmate told police that when they fell sick they were forced to consume whatever medicines that were stocked in the medicine cabinet. Cooks employed by the accused told police that clothes had not been washed for months due to water scarcity.
ix inmates were admitted by their children who were paying the centre and a few others abandoned by their children were reportedly dumped there by ambulance staff . Kadri police registered a case against the owner. The accused is booked under criminal charges for violating rights of disabled persons. The DHO who is also on the expert committee on mental health will submit a detailed report to the government. The officials after raiding the house, found hundreds of empty liquor bottles littered around the house.