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Mentally ill mom, children rescued

They had been living isolated for six years in a Phase 9 house.

By: Express News Service | Mohali |
April 24, 2014 2:52:42 am

In a bizarre incident, three unattended, mentally ill members of a family were found living in a house in Phase 9 where they had locked themselves for several years. They were brought to the civil hospital by the police, the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and an NGO on Wednesday.

Preliminary findings by the police and doctors suggest that the three, a woman and her grown-up son and daughter, had not come out of their house for around six years and were being provided food by the woman’s husband, an old and sick person himself, who was living away due to fear of being attacked by them.

The three has been identified as Jaswant Kaur, who appeared to be in her late 50s, her son Inderdeep Singh, and daughter Amandeep Kaur, both in their late 20s. All three looked weak and much older for their age.

“Preliminary diagnosis suggests that at least two of them have a serious mental disorder. The mother is

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comparatively more stable. They will probably be referred to the Institute of Mental Health in Amritsar,” said Dr Harinder Singh, the psychiatrist who spoke to them. Their plight was reported by two Chandigarh-based human rights activists to Prabh Aasra, an organisation working for the homeless.

The NGO, in turn, informed Mohali CJM Tarntaran Singh Bindra, who heads the DLSA. Bindra approached the police and they went to the family’s house around 6 pm.

“When we entered the house and knocked at the door, it was opened instantly as the three of them probably thought it was a call for food. When we told them that we did not have any food, they got aggressive and told us to leave. We then took them to the hospital on the pretext of making them meet their father (woman’s husband). They are all in a bad shape, wearing winter clothes and having overgrown hair,” police said.

Jaswant and her children were then taken to a hospital in Phase 6, where Mohali Additional District and Sessions Judge P P Singh also paid a visit. They demanded to see Jaswant’s husband J S Baidwan, who was traced by Prabh Aasra and the DLSA in Chandigarh, were he was staying in an ashram.

“The husband is mentally stable, but very feeble. He alleged that he was attacked by the children whenever he went to the house, so he moved out. But he ensured that the family was provided food, so he hired a local eatery owner to deliver them food regularly. He has been taken to the hospital, and has been kept separately. Lately, it seems he had become too feeble and sick to cater to their needs,” said Bindra.

Prabh Aasra member Karam Singh said that they were surprised that the neighbours never informed any authority about their existence. Jaswant Kaur claimed that her husband was a retired Superintending Engineer.

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