It was on Tuesday that 76-year-old Ammini and her husband, 80-year-old Podiyan were found locked in a room in their house in Mundakayam in Kottayam district. The frail old couple were at the brink of death, they clearly looked as if they had been starved. The couple were rescued by palliative care workers but Podiyan died on the way to the hospital. An autopsy report has revealed that Podiyan did die of starvation, and the Kottayam police on Thursday arrested the man who had allegedly locked the couple and starved them- their son Reji.
Mundakayam Station House Officer D Shibukumar told TNM that an autopsy report revealed that Podiyan died of starvation and based on that, Reji has been booked under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
The incident surfaced after palliative care workers from the local body discovered Podiyan lying on a bed inside the locker room and Ammini was seen sitting near him. Photos released by the team revealed the shabby condition of the room in which they were locked up. Podiyan's wife Ammini, who has mental health issues, is presently under treatment at Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
Following the discovery of the couple, neighbours and local body officials had raised allegations against their son and his family, who live in the same house.
On Tuesday, Mundakayam Panchayat President Rekha Das had said that there were complaints earlier too alleging that Reji was not taking care of his parents. She also said that previously he did not allow Asha workers or relatives to enter the house and meet his parents and had cited various excuses.
On Tuesday, when palliative care workers discovered the couple, they took a photograph and sent that to panchayat officials. Though panchayat members rushed to the spot, the couple's son did not allow them inside. Following this, it was with police assistance that palliative workers rescued the couple.
Watch visuals of the couple locked in room