A suspended BJP leader accused of torturing her domestic worker at her Jharkhand home, even smashing her teeth with an iron bar and starving her, was arrested this morning.
Sima Patra was arrested after her son disclosed the horrific abuse to his friend, a government official, and sought help.
While being taken away by police, she told the media she was framed. “I am innocent,” she said.
Sima Patra allegedly took her son to hospital for exposing her son. “He was unwell,” she claimed when asked why her son was hospitalized.
The BJP suspended Seema Patra on Tuesday after her family helped spread a video accusing her of being tortured. Ms Patra is a member of the National Works Committee for the BJP Women’s Wing and her husband Maheshwar Patra is a retired IAS officer.
Helper Sunita has been working for her for 10 years.
In the video, Sunita lies on a hospital bed with wounds on his body and face. The 29-year-old woman was barely able to speak as she claimed she was being held captive, tortured and beaten with sticks and iron pans. Many of her teeth were lost and she couldn’t sit up.
She claims she was forced to lick urine off the floor. “She also broke my teeth with an iron rod,” Sunita said.
She allegedly did not get food or water for several days. She said it was Ms Patra’s son Ayushman who rescued her. “It is because of him that I am alive,” she cried in the video.
Sunita was rescued last week when Ayushman, who was clearly upset about the abuse, confided in a friend, shared the video and asked him for help. His friend, government official Vivek Anand Baskey, went to the police station.
Ms Patra admitted her son to the Ranchi Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Joint Science, allegedly when she found out he was trying to help Sunita.
After rescuing her from Patras’ home, police took her to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) for treatment, officials said.
Sunita’s video is now widely circulated, causing a strong reaction. Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Baith also met police chief Niraji Sinha yesterday and expressed “grave concern” over the delay in taking action against the suspended BJP leader.
Police said they found no evidence against Ms Patra’s husband.