New Delhi: In a shocking incident, the Delhi Police on Saturday night rescued a 17-year-old girl from a house in Pandav Nagar, where she had been allegedly held captive by her mother.
The girl, whose parents are embroiled in a legal battle over maintenance, had been living alone in the flat filled with garbage for the past three months.
Police personnel broke open the doors of the Pandav Nagar house in east Delhi on Saturday night following complaints by neighbours that Pihu Ghosh was being held in the house against her will.
The girl, however, claimed she had voluntarily confined herself in the house.
She was surviving on two meals a day and sleeping on a sofa surrounded by garbage in a second-floor, two-room flat.
"We were told the girl was being confined by her mother who visited her once a day to give her food. We found the girl in poor physical condition as she could not able to walk, locked inside the house full of garbage," said Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav.
Pihu's mother, aged 44, is fighting a maintenance case against her husband in a Karkardooma court, police said.
The couple has two daughters.
The elder daughter, who is 22-year-old, lives with her mother in another rented flat in Pandav Nagar.
"The girl (Pihu) seems to be under depression," said Yadav, adding she was admitted to the Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital where doctors, during a preliminary check-up, found she had low blood pressure (78/46), a slightly high pulse rate (100 per minute) apart from some injuries.
She will be taken to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) after her condition improves, he added.
Pandav Nagar Councillor Govind Aggrawal, who was present on the spot when the police broke it said: "The condition of the girl was very bad and she had not bathed for some days. She was physically very weak with long hair."
Aggrawal also said that neighbours had also complained about screaming and weeping sounds coming from the house every night for the past few days.
Her neighbours also said that her mother, Krishna and elder sister were living in the flat till around five months ago before they moved to the D-block of the same area. Pihu, however, did not go along with them and stayed in this flat.
Neighbour and friend Rahul Singh told IANS that Pihu has studied till class 10 but was last seen going to school three years ago. "I did not see her in the street in the last one year," he said.
The girl was not in a position to speak at the time of raid but she, after some counselling, said that she had locked herself in the flat and was not willing to go outside on her own for last two-three months.
The girl's mother was called and initially she refused to open the door citing personal reasons, but when the policemen insisted, she opened the door.
Since no complaint has been received, police were yet to take any action in the case.
Police said that they would initiate further action on the direction of the CWC.
The girl's father claimed that after divorce, he was never allowed to meet his children. His wife had filed a case for maintenance against him in 2011 in the Karkardooma court.
(With Agency inputs)