Suspended BJP leader Seema Patra, who was arrested for torturing her house help, has been sent to police remand till 12 September, Public Prosecutor Pradeep Chaurasia said on Wednesday, 31 August.
Ranchi Police had earlier on Wednesday arrested Patra, who is the wife of former IAS officer Maheshwar Patra, for torturing her tribal house help. Patra was a member of the national working committee of the BJP's women wing.
She has, however, claimed that the allegations against her are false. "These are false allegations, politically motivated allegations. I have been implicated," Patra told news agency ANI.
The Ranchi Police had registered a First Information Report (FIR), filed by a college batchmate of Patra's son, Vivek Anand, under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 346 (wrongful confinement), and 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The victim, identified as Sunita, a resident of Gumla in Jharkhand, was rescued by the Ranchi Police on 22 August.
Moreover, a video also surfaced online where Sunita, who is undergoing treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, is seen narrating the torture she had to go through while she was working at the BJP leader's house.
As per media reports, Sunita was hired by Seema Patra as a domestic worker around 10 years ago. Later, when the couple's daughter was moving to Delhi for work, Sunita was sent along with her.
'Locked Me in a Room': Sunita
After a few years, their daughter and Sunita came back to Ranchi. As per Sunita's account, that's when Patra started torturing her. Sunita had asked Patra for her permission to go back to her native village, but she allegedly beat her up and locked her in a room.
As per Sunita's claims, Patra hit her with a rod and a hot pan. She further added that her teeth were smashed and she was made to lick urine off the floor.
Sunita also said that Patra's son, Ayushman, had helped her and saved her from his mother. "It is only because of him that I am alive," she said.
In the video, Sunita also said that she would like to study further after she has recovered from her injuries.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi visited Sunita on Wednesday and told news agency ANI, "We came here to meet the victim, she's a poor lady and used to work at her (accused Seema Patra) house. The way she was beaten by her was not right. It's good that Patra has been arrested and the party has also removed her."
Sunita added, "I have throat issues. What you heard is exactly what happened to me. Madam used to beat me up when I used to make a mistake while working."
How Was Sunita Rescued?
"A few days before the rescue, Ayushman called me and said that something is not going well in this house. These people will kill him and Sunita," Vivek Anand told The Quint.
He further added that Patra had asked Anand to come along when she was taking Ayushman to the hospital.
"The next day, Seema called me and said that Ayushmann's mental condition is not good and he will have to be admitted to the psychiatric hospital, come along. At the hospital, Ayushman shouted at his mother, accusing her of torturing Sunita," Anand added.
Anand further added that after the hospital incident, he inquired about Sunita with other domestic workers. They said that her condition was very critical and she might not survive in the house for long, he added.
"After this, on 21 August, I gave the information about the whole matter to the Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi. He formed a team after talking to the SSP and then Sunita was rescued from there," he said.