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In penury,Howrah family locks itself for a year

Days after the shocking news about a 47-year-old man who has been kept bound in chains by his own family for the past 16 years,the Howrah cops have found another family that has shut itself off from the outside world for a year...

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 29, 2009 3:01:08 am

Days after the shocking news about a 47-year-old man who has been kept bound in chains by his own family for the past 16 years,the Howrah cops have found another family that has shut itself off from the outside world for a year now and where two teenaged girls and a boy have been living in sub-human conditions.

Salkia resident Tapan Pramanik’s daughters Sonamoni (27) and Phoolmani (22) and son Rajesh (20) were found malnourished and living in sub-human conditions in a high-rise flat by a team from the Malipanchghara police station. Tapan himself is missing.

Soumendranath Bandyopadhyay,SDO Howrah,told The Indian Express on Wednesday he would send an ambulance on Thursday to evacuate the Pramanik family and bring them to the Howrah district hospital.

“I came to know of this family today. They are malnourished. They have been living in confinement and in sub-human conditions for over a year. We have conducted an initial inquiry and decided that medical attention comes first,” Bandyopadhyay said.

He said the family had withdrawn itself after Tapan became impoverished when his cycle-repair business failed. “The family was living in their ancestral house before it was taken over by a promoter to build a multi-storey residential complex several years ago. Tapan was given cash,a flat and a shop in the building. However,he used up the money. A year ago,his wife died and since then,he locked his children and himself in,” Bandyopadhyay said.

Malipanchghara police station officer-in-charge Pradip Roy,who visited the first-floor flat at 4,Aurobindo Road,said the two girls were the worst-affected. “Tapan has four brothers,and they were all living together in the ancestral house. However,the money running out appears to have affected him. He would feed scraps of food to his children. We found plastic waste in the flat. He had locked them and left,apparently in search of food. Even before he ran out of money,his family had begun withdrawing from society,” Roy said.

While both the girls are left immobilised from weakness,Tapan appears to be able to move around,Roy said. “We may register a case suo motu as no one has lodged a complaint. Action could be taken against Tapan for confining his children,right now,the children need medical attention.”

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