Police have arrested a woman in Dharan municipality of Sunsari district for keeping her own younger sister in solitary confinement for three years.
Ranmaya Khadka (Rai), who lives in Dharan-13, was arrested on Wednesday for keeping Rudra Kumari Khadka locked in a dark and congested room. Police also rescued Rudra Kumari and sent her to BP Koirala Institute of Health Science (BPKIHS) hospital, Dharan for treatment. As a result of having to live in the locked room for years, Rudra Kumari has become physically and mentally weak.
Ranmaya´s neighbors allege that she kept Rudra Kumari locked in the room to unlawfully gain her properties. However, Ranmaya has dismissed the allegations, saying that Rudra Kumari locked herself in the room. She also said that Rudra Kumari was mentally ill.
According to the neighbors, Ranmaya, who was already married off, had started living in her maternal home following her father Chandra Bahadur Khadka´s death. As she had no brothers, Ranmaya saw Rudra Kumari as the only hurdle in her way to acquiring the ownership of a two-storey house and 17 katthas of land, which had been registered in her late father´s name. A few years later, Ranmaya sold off her father´s land, fueling speculations that she wanted to capture all the properties by depriving Rudra Kumari of her rights.
However, Ranmaya, after being arrested by the police, has maintained that she sold off her father´s land to pay off his loan.
When police rescued Rudra Kumari, she was not in the condition to speak. She was found in a room filled with the stench of human feces and urine. Steamed rice, which was supposedly given to Rudra Kumari, was strewn all over a Nanglo.
Ranmaya, after abandoning her two previous husbands, was now living with her third husband, Surya Bahadur Rai. She has three sons. DSP Chandra Dev Rai said, “Rudra Kumari seems to have been suffering from mental illness. She needs medical treatment.” But, it is not clear whether Rudra Kumari was already mentally ill, as claimed by Ranmaya, or suffered from mental disorder after being put in solitary confinement.