Elderly woman locked in house for 10 years by sons, finally freed

A day after Gnanajothi (72) was rescued from a house in Tamil Nadu in which she was confined for the past 10 years by her two well-earning sons, the siblings were booked on Saturday for allegedly abandoning the senior citizen.

The Tamil University police registered a case against the two sons — 50-year-old police inspector Shanmugasundaram who works in Chennai and his younger brother Venkatesan (45), a Doordarshan employee based in Pattukottai — under Section 24 of the Maintenance and Welfare Of Parents and Senior Citizens Act.

Speaking to reporters, Shanmugasundaram laid the blame on his younger brother stating that Venkatesan was using up his mother’s pension of Rs 30,000 every month and he was responsible for their mother’s health.

According to the Social Welfare department, 72-year-old Gnanajothi was rescued by the Social Welfare department officials after a tip-off from an unknown person, who called them upon seeing a video on social media of the woman lying naked inside her home in a frail condition.

The woman has been admitted to Thanjavur Medical College Hospital, District Collector Dinesh Ponraj Oliver said while adding that the doctors have been urged to take necessary action for her speedy recovery.

On Friday, the neighbours had informed officials that the sons had made arrangements for providing food for their mother as they lived elsewhere. Whenever she felt hungry and needed food, Gnanajothi would raise an alarm and the neighbours would throw biscuits or fruits into the locked house, the police said.

Though the neighbours knew about her condition, they apparently did not share the details with anyone fearing the information would be suppressed.

With the help of the police, the Social Welfare department personnel broke into the house on Friday as her sons refused to part with the key and managed to rescue the aged woman.

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