An alcoholic father shackled his 15-year-old daughter with an iron chain, tied her to a pole outside the Ujjain district hospital and abandoned her – just because she gathered courage for once to refuse him her hard-earned money for his daily binge.
The girl was rescued on Monday evening after people noticed her lying on the ground writhing in pain, within hours of her father abandoning her.
Police said the chain weighed more than five kg.
The father was arrested the same night by police from his house at Piplia village, around 45 km from Ujjain. Ujjain is over 200 km from state capital Bhopal.
The girl, who identified herself as Santoshi, said that it was not the first time she had been kept in chains.
"He is an alcoholic and regularly beats me up with a stick. Whenever he goes out, he ties me up to a post in the house," she claimed.
Police quoted the arrested father Laljiram (70) as claiming that his daughter was "mentally-imbalanced" and he had no option but to keep her shackles as she often "wandered from home".
Police said that Santoshi is the youngest of six sisters four of whom are married and stay with their husbands. She also has a younger brother.
Their mother passed away earlier.
The girl also said that her father gave her just one roti for lunch and one-and-a-half for dinner.
"He forced me her to work in agriculture fields which was the only time I was not bound," she said, adding he used to take whatever she earned.
Four days ago, when she refused to part with her money, he brought her to Ujjain for inexplicable reasons and abandoned her, Santoshi said.
Police had to struggle for hours to cut through the chain and free the girl, who has since been handed over to a women's shelter.
Kotwali police station in-charge Rakesh Mohan Shukla said a case has been registered against the father.