On Wednesday, residents of Mampad in Malappuram broke open a locked room and rescued two minors who were being starved and tortured by their guardians for months together. The shocking incident from Kerala came to light on Wednesday. The children, aged four and six, had swollen faces with injuries on their eyes and nose. It was evident that they were being beaten up, childline officials tell TNM. More shockingly, it looked like they had been deprived of nutritious food for many months and starved for the last few days, says Umaimath TP, Vice President of Mampad Panchayat.
The minors were so severely malnourished that one of them could not walk, and the other could barely open her eyes, according to reports.
“When we broke open the lock, we saw these two children lying down on the floor. Their eyes and nose etc were swollen and they were clearly starved of food. We came to know that they had not been fed properly for months. They were locked on the third floor of the building, and that is probably why none of the local residents realised and alerted the panchayat sooner. Yet, some of the shopkeepers below used to give them bananas and other snacks through the window. But when we checked, the window of the room was wired shut in such a way that the children cannot contact the shopkeepers,” Umaimath explains to local channels.
Following the rescue, the residents carried both the kids and took them to the Nilambur district hospital. Here they were given medical intervention and have now been placed under observation for the next few days.
According to officials at Childline Malappuram, the couple who took care of the children hailed from Tamil Nadu. It is unclear whether the couple are the children’s parents. However, in their statement to the police, they said that they locked the children up when they went to work during the day time, in order to prevent them from running away from the house. They couple have told the police that they were the woman’s sister’s kids.
“The parents or guardians too were first taken to the Nilambur district hospital. From there, they have now been taken into the custody of the Nilambur police where their statements are being recorded by officers. A First Information Report (FIR) against the duo will now be registered by the police,” says an official from the Nilambur PS.
Meanwhile, once the children are discharged from the hospital, they will be handed over to the Child Welfare Committee, which will then decide if the two children should go to care homes. The children will also be counselled by in-house psychologists and a report of this will be submitted to the CWC.