CHENNAI: Yet again a patient is alleged to have been brutally tortured and left to suffer with a leg fracture for over 25 days in a place being run under the garb of “de-addiction centre” on the city’s outskirts.
R Madan Mohan Raj, 33, a BE graduate who was running the centre at Vilangadupakkam, Redhills was arrested on Wednesday. The police were aware of the case only after doctors at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital suspected that the fractures M Selvaraj, 63, had suffered was due to a severe assault and alerted them.
In April, one Ravi, who was running a de-addition centre named “God Helping Foundation” at Mangadu, was arrested after a patient was allegedly beaten to death by him. “On the first day my family left me there, the samiyar (as the saffron-clad Madan Mohan Raj was referred in the centre) asked me to sit on the floor. He then suddenly took out a huge wooden log and delivered a blow on my head and legs. Blood from my head soaked my white shirt into red and I could not even move my leg since then,” Selvaraj, who is still under treatment, told Express. He was admitted to the centre by his family as he used to spend almost all money he earns as coolie worker on alcohol.
With none of the family members being allowed to meet, Selvaraj had to live in the centre under fear even to protest. For three days, he says, the staff in the centre were carrying him to the toilet. “But then they found carrying me every time difficult and hence just put me right outside the bathroom. I had to crawl into the toilet every time I wanted to use it,” he said. Only on Tuesday Selvaraj’s daughter Krishnaveni managed to meet him and was shocked to see her father with injuries all over the body. “He was lying there like a beggar. When she asked, they initially even managed to convince her that such treatment is required to make him give up alcohol,” says Selvaraj’s wife Nagamma.
Nagamma says under the constant threat of the centre’s staff, Selvaraj managed to communicate what was happening to him through Hindi, to avoid the staff’s attention. The family knew Hindi since they were Tamils who had migrated from Burma. “After much bargaining, they agreed to allow him leave. But that too only after my daughter paid ` 2,000 as additional fees,” says Nagamma. At the time of admission, Nagamma says she was asked to pay `6,000 as fees. Since she did not have cash, she says she gave them one of her gold jewels. Even as Madan Mohan Raj had insisted that Selvaraj must be admitted only in the National Institute of Siddha at Tambaram, the family shifted him to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.
When Express visited ‘Nizhal Maiyam’, which was running in a newly-built house in a sparse residential area, most of the locals said the staff in the home hardly interacted with other residents. There are six more patients in the centre. “We are planning to shift them to a government-run home,” assured a police constable.
In the congested house, yoga posters filled the walls. “When I was there, Madan Mohan Raj would bring many well-to-do people to the home and it was evident that he was seeking donations from them,” said Selvaraj. Madan Mohan Raj has been remanded in judicial custody.