23 03 2008

Probe ordered into “torture” of disabled boy

The Hindu: Front Page

Online edition of India’s National Newspaper

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008

Ramya Kannan and R. Sujatha

http://www.hindu.com/2008/03/22/stories/2008032254900100.htm

Chennai: Social Welfare Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna has ordered an enquiry into complaints of torture of a seven-year-old inmate, P. Manikandan, in the Government Home for the Mentally Retarded at Tambaram.

“We have ordered an enquiry and I will be visiting the home on Monday,” Dr. Poongothai told The Hindu. “We have 60 children in the home and we have received no other complaints. But this surely bears further investigation,” she added.

A case was registered with the Chitalapakkam police station on Friday against the home by Manikandan’s parents. The boy, who has multiple disabilities, including cerebral palsy, was admitted to the home by his father, Pandurangan of MMDA Colony in Arumbakkam, in February 2007. On Friday, the parents registered a case against the home alleging that the boy was assaulted with an iron ladle and there were injuries to his eyes. They admitted him to the Government Ophthalmic Hospital.

A lawyer who accompanied the parents to the police station told The Hindu that the boy had been allegedly tied with nylon rope to the pillars in the home as he was hyperactive and difficult to handle.

Manikandan’s mother Gandhimathi said, “Whenever we went to visit him in the home we found fresh injuries.” She claimed that they were forced to leave the boy there because of their poor financial situation.

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