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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, August 30, suspended its leader Seema Patra from Jharkhand after allegations emerged against her that she had brutally tortured and inhumanely treated her domestic worker.
Patra is on the national working committee of the BJP’s women’s wing. Her husband, Maheshwar Patra, is a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. According to her Facebook profile, Patra is the state convenor of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.
In several videos that emerged online, the 29-year-old worker, Sunita, narrates with horror from a hospital bed that she was beaten up with a hot tawa and rods, and was made to lick urine off the floor. She speaks through her pain and there are visible injury marks on her body. She is unable to sit up, and her teeth are smashed out.
— krishanKTRS (@krishanKTRS) August 30, 2022
The visuals evoked angry reactions from people at large, with a singular call for the immediate arrest of Seema Patra. Jharkhand BJP president Deepak Prakash ordered action against Patra.
Hailing from Jharkhand’s Gumla, Sunita began working for the Patras about 10 years back. She went with the daughter of Patras, Vatsala, to Delhi to be her domestic worker. About four years ago, both Vatsala and Sunita returned to Ranchi.
Over the next six years, Sunita says she was tortured and faced “punishment” at hands of Seema Patra, but she did not know why she was punished and what were her mistakes. Patra’s son, Ayushman, came to the rescue of Sunita.
“It is only because of him that I am alive,” she says in one of the videos, her voice choking and tears welling up in her eyes.
Sunita’s sister and brother-in-law had been reportedly informed of her suffering, but they refused to take her in.
Citing local media reports, NDTV said Ayushman narrated Sunita’s condition to a friend, who, in turn, registered a police complaint. Subsequently, Sunita was rescued. She is being treated currently at RIMS in Ranchi.
Police are expected to record Sunita’s statement soon, following which they may move to arrest Seema Patra.