A 51-year-old woman, who had allegedly been confined to a one-room house in a remote area of Talauli in Ponda taluka for 11 years by her husband, was rescued on Tuesday by the police with the help of an NGO.
The woman had been living in completely unhygienic conditions: she was confined under a table in the unlit room, which was latched from outside.
The emaciated and partly paralysed woman has been referred to the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour, Bambolim, after she underwent a medical checkup at the sub-district hospital at Ponda.
The police said the woman’s husband, who has been identified as Rajendra Phadte (55), was detained after the police registered an FIR against him for wrongfully confining his wife.
Phadte has also been booked under charges of remarrying during the lifetime of the wife.
Phadte has been living with his second wife and a child at Kavlem- Bandora. The woman was rescued by the Panaji-based women
police station following a complaint by the victim assistance unit.
Sources said that Phadte had married the woman from Canacona some 15 years back. The couple had been living in the remote area of Talauli. A few months after their marriage, the woman was afflicted by a disease and did not recover soon. Phadte took care of his wife for some years, but subsequently he remarried with another woman and started living with the second wife separately in a rented accommodation.
The sources said the first wife was practically left to her own devices in the Talauli house, although the husband came to the place everyday to serve her food.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, the husband Phadte said, “I had not left her alone completely… I was unable to take care of her due to my economic conditions. I have served her tea and food everyday for the past 11 years.”
“Her condition was very bad, and she was unable to move. That’s why I used to latch the house from outside,” said Phadte, who hails from Durbhat.
Police sub-inspector Reema Naik; police constables Vasu Sawant and Rajendra Changadkar; lady police constable Pooja Joshi, and Pranjali Desai and Preeti Padgaonkar of the SCAN-Goa were part of the rescue team.
Incidentally a year ago the Panaji women police had rescued a 50-year-old woman who had been confined in a room for over eight years at Candolim.