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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Delhi: Depressed over ‘losing hair’, girl locks herself in garbage-filled room for months

Pandav Nagar: The 16-year-old girl was allegedly ’depressed’ and had not come out of her room for several months. Police said she had not taken a bath for over two months. She was admitted to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital. She had been sleeping on iron chairs.

delhi Updated: May 08, 2017 09:18 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Garbage strewn around the room in which 16-year-old girl had confined herself in Pandav Nagar. The girl was rescued by the police on Saturday after a neighbour informed the police.
Garbage strewn around the room in which 16-year-old girl had confined herself in Pandav Nagar. The girl was rescued by the police on Saturday after a neighbour informed the police. (HT Photo)

Depressed allegedly over losing hair quickly, a 16-year-old girl remained confined in a garbage-filled room for several months at her home in East Delhi’s Pandav Nagar. Police said the girl had not taken bath for over two months and had not emerged from her flat during this time.

The room she was found was filled with at least one foot-deep garbage dump, including rotting food items, water bottles, empty fast food packets, dirty clothes and cardboard boxes. Three iron chairs kept together and covered by a bedsheet was her bed. A ceiling fan and a bulb were the other amenities in the room located on the second-floor of the building.

The girl, who the police suspect to be battling mental health issues, was “rescued” and hospitalised by the police on Saturday evening after a neighbour informed the police. The girl was found with low blood pressure, fast pulse rate and in poor hygienic condition. She is being examined by doctors at LBS Hospital for other health issues.

Sushil Sircar, a property dealer who operates from the same building and had informed the police about the situation, alleged that the girl was locked inside the one-bedroom flat in Pandav Nagar’s B-Block for at least two years.

“For the last 10 days, neighbours were talking about the girl crying loudly every night. Once, I was certain that the girl needed help, I informed the police,” said Sircar. Sircar and some other neighbours, on condition of anonymity, alleged that the girl was locked from outside by her mother and sister, who lived in another building in the same neighbourhood.

“The two women would visit the girl twice every day to offer food and drinking water. She was not allowed outside. She mostly lived in silence, but we would hear her cries from time to time,” alleged another neighbour.

While the police concurred with some of these claims, they chose to differ with allegations of forceful confinement. Police said that when they reached the girl’s flat on receiving Sircar’s call on Saturday, they found the house locked from inside. So they waited for her mother to arrive with dinner. That is when the girl agreed to open the door.

“The flat was filled with garbage and foul smell was emanating. The girl’s condition was bad as she had not bathed for some time. We got her admitted to a hospital,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint CP (Eastern Range), adding that even the girl’s mother appeared to be battling mental health issues.

A background check on the family revealed that the girl’s parents had separated a few years ago but were yet to be formally divorced. The couple has been fighting each other in court over maintenance issues. The girl’s father owns a small grocery shop in Old Delhi.

Until six months ago, the girl, her 24-year-old sister and their mother lived in the same flat. When the family decided to shift to another rented accommodation in the same area, the girl reportedly refused to move with them. Despite her belongings packed in bedsheets and cardboard boxes, she refused to move from there.

“The girl had dropped out of school in class nine. According to her sister, she was depressed, mainly because she was losing hair. Since the girl refused to accompany them to the new flat, they left her behind,” said the officer.

The girl, meanwhile, has not blamed her mother or sister during her brief interaction with the police. “She has said she was confining herself to the flat of her own free will. We will counsel her and produce her before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Any further action will be taken based on the CWC’s directions,” the officer added.

The police have registered any FIR and said prima facie there was no evidence of any sexual abuse with the girl.

First Published: May 08, 2017 09:14 IST