Jharkhand police arrests suspended BJP leader Seema Patra for 'torturing' tribal help

The 29-year-old woman alleged that her teeth were broken with an iron rod and that she was forced to lick urine, and clean the floor with her tongue.

Published: 31st August 2022 09:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2022 08:44 PM   |  A+A-

Ranchi- BJP leader Seema Patra-arrested

Suspended BJP leader Seema Patra being arrested by police on allegations of torturing her 29-year-old tribal help Sunita, in Ranchi, on August 31, 2022. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

RANCHI: Jharkhand police on Wednesday arrested suspended BJP leader Seema Patra, wife of a retired IAS officer, on allegations of torturing her 29-year-old tribal help Sunita.

Patra was then produced before a Ranchi Court after her arrest which forwarded her to 14 day judicial custody.

She was suspended by BJP after a video of Sunita, narrating her ordeal, went viral on social media with demands for Patra's arrest.

An FIR was registered against Patra under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, and various sections of the IPC at Argora police station.

“Seem Patra was absconding after FIR was registered against her. In the wee hours of Wednesday, we got a tip-off that she has come back and planning to leave again. We immediately swung into action and arrested her,” said office in charge of Argora Police Station Vinod Kumar.

Acting on a tip-off from a government employee, the Ranchi Police had rescued the woman from Patra's residence last week and recorded the domestic help' statement on Tuesday before a magistrate.

Sunita was taken to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), where she is currently undergoing medical treatment. Members of various tribal outfits met her at the hospital on Tuesday.

In the horrifying videos, 29-year old Sunita could be seen on a hospital bed with most of her teeth missing and not being able to sit properly due to the intense torture she had undergone during the last 8 years. 

The woman is seen lying on a hospital bed making a desperate attempt to utter a few words to a man speaking to her. "I have throat issues. What you heard is exactly what happened to me. Madam used to beat me up when I used to make a mistake while working," she is heard saying.

The injury marks on her body pointed towards repeated instances of assault she might she have gone through.

Sunita has alleged that she was subjected to torture for eight years and was beaten with hot ‘tawa’ (pan) and metal rods and was compelled to lick the floor's urine.

Sunita is a tribal woman from Gumla district of Jharkhand and was employed by the Patra family about 10 years ago. Their daughter Vatsala was moving to Delhi for work and Sunita went along as her domestic help. Vatsala along with Sunita later returned to Ranchi around 6 years ago.

Sunita somehow managed to send a message to a government employee Vivek Anand Baske informing him about the atrocities she is going thorough, following which, an FIR was lodged at Argora Police Station in Ranchi. On the initiative taken by Ranchi police, Sunita was rescued from Patra’s residence in posh Ashok Nagar.

Seema Patra was a part of the women’s wing of the BJP’s national working committee and was leading the BJP’s campaign Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in Jharkhand. She was part of Congress before joining the BJP. Patra’s husband, Maheshwar Patra, is a retired IAS officer.

The National Commission for Women on Tuesday had ordered action against Seema Patra.

ANI reported that Governor Ramesh Bais on Tuesday asked DGP Neeraj Sinha as to why no action has been taken against the suspended BJP leader.

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister and current Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Jharkhand Assembly, Babulal Marandi who visited Sunita today called the incident 'extremely painful' and demanded a fast-track inquiry into the case.

"I visited the victim, it is so painful to see her like that. I can't even imagine that someone can be this demonic. There is absolutely no space for such inhuman behaviour. It's good that the BJP has suspended her, there are many people in our party but if someone does anything like this, it doesn't mean we will tolerate that," the BJP leader was quoted as saying by ANI.

(With inputs from online desk)


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