Hyderabad: Seventy-three people, most with mental illness and psychiatric disorders, were found chained with padlocks at an old-age home on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The centre staff had been torturing the inmates, which included 21 women, in the guise of giving them care and medication, said the police.

 

The goings-on at the old-age home at Nagaram village came to light after neighbours heard cries of the chained persons and called the Keesara police. A case has been registered against the caretakers, while all the inmates have been shifted to a hospital.

 

According to the police, Shaik Rathan John Paul, K Bharathi and three others run ‘Mamatha Old Age Home’ in two independent houses. It was found that they were running a psychiatric rehabilitation center and had kept psychiatric patients, mentally disturbed persons and a few alcoholics in the houses.

 

The police found that the caretakers had kept 52 men in one house and 21 women in the other in unhygienic conditions and had restrained them with chains. The hapless people were often ‘disciplined’ with sticks, said sources.

 

The caretakers were collecting up to Rs 10,000 a month from the families of each person towards their treatment and care. The sources said that the caretakers do not have proper degrees to treat such people and that the psychiatric rehabilitation center is unregistered.

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