Two teenaged girls, who were locked up in a room for one and half years by their widowed father and barely survived on food occasionally given by relatives, were rescued by residents of Bhagat Singh Nagar under Saroornagar police station limits in the state capital on Wednesday.
Asma Begum (16) and Najma Begum (14) were reduced to skin and bones and could barely whisper when the local people broke open the door. The two girls were rushed to Osmania General Hospital, where they were admitted to Intensive care unit. Doctors later said that the elder girl was suffering from tuberculosis whereas he younger girl had jaundice.
The residents moved in to act after some relatives could not hear any response from the girls incarcerated in their room.
Police said that their father Anwar Mian, who works in a bakery in Amberpet, was a chronic alcoholic and borrowed money heavily to fund his passion. He rarely cooked or ate at home and never bothered about children. He would open the room once in a while.
His wife Daulat Bi died 18 months ago soon after giving birth to a male child apparently due to starvation. Anwar mian promptly sold the male baby for Rs 5000 to a childless couple to pay for the funeral rites of his wife and clear some debts.
The police recorded the statements of the girls at the hospital. "We are probing the case. We will arrest him," said G Nageswar Rao of Saroornagar Police Station.