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Wife, minor daughter locked in a room for 5 years by man in Bengal

The police registered a complaint lodged by the brother of the woman. The accused is traceless.

kolkata Updated: Nov 03, 2017 16:19 IST
Sreyasi Pal
Sreyasi Pal
Hindustan Times
Bengal,Murshidabad,Police
Police entering the room to rescue Manju Mondal and her daughter.(HT Photo)

The Bengal police on Wednesday evening rescued a 36-year-old woman and her 11-year-old daughter from a room, where they were allegedly locked up for about five years by the woman’s husband. The incident took place at Jalangi area of Murshidabad district, about 210 km from Kolkata.

Even the windows of the room were sealed with black plastic sheets to keep out the sunlight.

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Police said the woman, Manju Mondal, is originally a resident of Karimpur in adjoining Nadia district. She married Manobendra Mondal, a carpenter, and came to Choapara. Their daughter, Tota, was born 11 years ago.

Incidentally the woman, a graduate according to her elder brother Nikhil Sarkar, did not lodge any complaint against her husband. In fact, she even refused to come to the police station after police found her.

“Manju’s brother has lodged a complaint against Manobendra but Manju has no allegation against her husband. We will probe the charges. Manobendra could not be traced,” said Debasish Sarkar, officer-in-charge of Jalangi police station.

“Manju is a graduate. She has no psychiatric problem. We have no idea why she is not speaking out,” said Nikhil.

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The police escorted Mondal and her daughter back to the house later in the night. “There was no legal ground to keep her at the police station,” said Debasish Sarkar.

When policemen entered the house after breaking open a window they found Manju and Tota locked inside a dirty room.

An officer at Jalangi police station said, “When we asked Manju and her daughter to come with us they refused to leave. They said they are living a ‘good life’. We somehow convinced them and they agreed to come to the police station.”

“But they got scared seeing so many people after such a long time. We had to cover their faces as they did not wish to be seen.”

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Nikhil Sarkar alleged that Manabendra Mondal married another woman who possibly used to stay in the same house. “Manobendra is infamous for his rudeness. People seldom talk to him. We didn’t see his wife and daughter for several years. Nobody knew what happened to them,” said Asgar Ali, a villager.

Locals also claimed that the couple used to lead a happy life till their daughter turned six. The family suddenly stopped meeting people, including relatives and neighbours.

Villagers said Tota Mondal used to study in class 1 at a local school when they last saw her. Every morning Manobendra used to leave the house after locking the door from outside. He used to return late in the night.

Nikhil Sarkar said, “Every time we tried meet her we were denied entry into the house. A woman used to shout at us from inside. Claiming to be Manju, she used to say that she would commit suicide if we didn’t leave.”

“We talked to Manju over phone four years ago. Thereafter, she stopped taking calls. We had no idea what was going on in that house. Even Manju’s neighbours couldn’t give us any satisfactory explanation,” claimed Nikhil Sarkar.

Local people said a few days ago the sons of Manju’s brother-in-law, Bikash Mondal, came to Jalangi to meet their aunt. They too were humiliated by the same “voice” from inside the house.

“We came to hear that Manobendra has married another woman and she is the one pretending to be Manju while talking to us from behind closed doors during our visits,” said Nikhil Sarkar.

On Wednesday, Nikhil Sarkar, Bikash Mondal and some other relatives went to Jalangi police station and sought help.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 16:02 IST