A Bharatiya Janata Party official from Jharkhand was suspended by the party on Tuesday after videos emerged showing that she allegedly tortured and confined her household help, NDTV reported.
Seema Patra was a member of the national working committee of BJP’s women’s wing. Her husband, Maheshwar Patra, is a retired Indian Administrative Service officer.
Several of her teeth are missing and she is incapable of sitting up on the hospital bed. She also sustained injury marks on her body, pointing to repeated physical assault, NDTV reported.
Videos of Sunita, who has been admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi, have been shared widely on social media platforms. In the clips, Sunita can be heard accusing Patra of torturing her, according to the news channel.
A first information report has been registered at Argora police station in Ranchi, according to IANS. The police said that the statement of Sunita, an Adivasi, will be recorded in court after her condition improves.
Seema Patra was suspended on an order by Deepak Prakash, chief of BJP’s Jharkhand unit, NDTV reported.
Sunita is 29 years old and hails from Gumla in Jharkhand, according to the news channel. Around 10 years ago, she was employed by the Patras.
In the initial four years, Sunita worked for Vatsala Patra, the BJP leader’s daughter, in Delhi. The duo then returned to Ranchi.
Sunita has alleged that over the next six years, she was subjected to brutal torture by Seema Patra. In one of the videos, she recounts being beaten up with a hot pan and rods.
She was also made to lick urine off the floor, NDTV reported citing the videos.
Sunita also said that Patra’s son Ayushman helped her.
“It is only because of him that I am alive,” NDTV quoted her as saying in one of the videos.
Ayushman, who found out about torture, sought help from a friend. The friend registered a police complaint, following which Sunita was rescued.
According to Times Now, a case is registered under Sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 325, 346 (wrongful confinement), and 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989. No arrests have been made yet.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi described the incident as “horrifying and shameful”.
“What power trip are these BJP leaders on?” she wrote on Twitter.