Her unceasing screams for food spooked neighbours

Neighbours who called the police to tip them off about Hemavathi after they heard her screams, said that the woman had been depressed for a decade and many had not even seen her around the house in Malleswaram.

They said the condition of the thirty-something commerce graduate who once worked in a chartered accountant’s office, could have been aggravated by her confinement. “She can no longer use her limbs: her father said it was due to rheumatoid arthritis,” one said.

Allegations denied

On their part, the family denied allegations that they had opposed a relationship and had consequently kept her housebound.

Neighbours alleged the family’s apathy only worsened Ms. Hemavathi’s depression.

A resident, Seema Bhasin, told The Hindu: “The family has been residing here for at least 10 years, but nobody had seen the girl in the past 6 years. Hemavathi seemed to be a bright young girl who had a job. Her mother too seems to have some psychological and health problems. We grew suspicious about two months ago when we heard the girl screaming repeatedly for her mother to give her food.”

Neighbours hesitant

Most neighbours said though they knew there was something out of kilter with the family, they were hesitant to lodge a police complaint as they did not want to interfere in the family’s affairs. They voiced their concern over Ms. Hemavathi and hoped she would receive proper treatment.

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