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Man charged with illegal confinement, held

mumbai Updated: Oct 01, 2009 12:48 IST

A 60-year-old man, who had allegedly locked up his wife and three daughters in a room for seven years fearing they would be raped if they ventured out, has been arrested.

"After preliminary investigations, we arrested the accused, Francis Gomes, late last night, for causing hurt to the victims and wrongfully confining them," Thane police inspector Ashok Pawar said on Thursday.

Police rescued the hapless women on September 29 with the help of an NGO from their second floor flat in Neelambha Cooperative Housing Society at Naigaon in neighbouring Thane district.

However, Gomes in his statement to the police has refuted the allegations.

His wife Theresa in her complaint to the police had said that Gomes would lock them inside the house when he left for work in the morning and would return only in the night.

According to the complaint, Gomes was extremely possessive of his daughters and had forcibly confined them to the house fearing strangers would rape them.

Gomes and Theresa moved into the flat seven years ago with their daughters. "Since then, the women have been facing this ordeal," R Gopalakrishnan, member of the NGO Anand Rehabilitation Centre claimed.

According to Gopalakrishnan, the accused must be suffering from psychological problems himself, which explains his extreme behaviour of forcibly confining his family inside the house in his absence.

Gomes has been booked under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 324 (causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code.

The rescued women are undergoing medical and psychological treatment at a city hospital.