A 50-year-old woman, Dhankeshri Devi, allegedly kept her husband in confinement for nine years and declared him dead so that she can avail her widow's pension.
The matter came to light on Thursday after her neighbour informed the police following an altercation with Dhankeshri's son, Sunil Kumar.
A team of police officials reached their house in Deuwar village under Sandesh police station in Bhojpur district of south-central Bihar and rescued 58-year-old Jagat Narayan Singh.
According to station house officer Shyam Deo Singh, who headed the police team, Jagat was found in a disheveled state. "He appeared quite disoriented and kept on saying 'Dumka, Dumka' - a district in Jharkhand where he was posted as a peon till 2004," the SHO said on Saturday.
Bhojpur superintendent of police Satyaveer Singh had ordered the raid after the neighbour, Asha Devi, raised the matter at his janata darbar, informing everyone of the inhuman treatment meted out to Jagat by his wife and son.
In an FIR lodged at the Sandesh police station, Asha blamed Sunil for keeping his father in captivity. According to the neighbour, 18-year-old Sunil wanted to get his father's job in the department of animal husbandry in Dumka district on compassionate grounds.
The police said Sunil has gone missing after the incident came to light. "We are on the lookout for Sunil, who has been named in the FIR. Dhankeshri, however, has not been named. We will take a call on her as the investigation progresses," the SHO said.
In 2004, Dhankeshri had lodged a complaint at the Sandesh police station, stating that her husband has gone missing.
According to police, she and her son later managed to acquire a death certificate issued in Jagat's name which entitled Dhankeshri to draw her widow's pension. Sunil, however, didn't succeed in landing a job on compassionate grounds as he was a minor at that time.
The Bhojpur SP said it seems that Sunil has a major role to play in the illegal confinement of his father as he wanted to get a government job at Dumka.
"During the course of the investigation, it will become clear how did the mother-son duo managed to procure the forged death certificate. It will also be probed as to why the neighbours keep silent for so long though they knew of Jagat's confinement," the SP added.