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Who is Seema Patra, BJP leader arrested for allegedly torturing tribal help in Jharkhand?

Seema Patra is the wife of Maheshwar Patra, a retired IAS officer. She served on the national working committee of the BJP's women's wing. The saffron party suspended her after a video of the victim recounting her ordeal went viral on social media.

Who is Seema Patra, BJP leader arrested for allegedly torturing tribal help in Jharkhand? - adt
First Published Aug 31, 2022, 2:48 PM IST

Jharkhand police arrested suspended Bharatiya Janata Party leader Seema Patra, the wife of a retired IAS officer, on Wednesday for torturing her 29-year-old tribal help Sunita, according to police sources.

According to sources, Ranchi Police rescued the woman from Patra's residence last week after receiving a tip from a government employee and recorded the domestic help's statement before a magistrate on Tuesday.

Patra allegedly held the woman captive in her home in Ranchi's posh Ashok Nagar neighbourhood for nearly nine years. The BJP suspended Patra after a video of the victim recounting her ordeal went viral on social media, prompting calls for Patra's arrest.

About the whole incident: 
Patra's son, Ayushman, who was shocked by the torture, allegedly shared the videos with his government employee friend. Vivek Anand Baskey, the friend, went to the police station with the videos.

When Seema Patra learned that her son was attempting to help Sunita, she allegedly admitted him to the Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Sciences. According to media reports, when asked if she had admitted Ayushman to the hospital for exposing her horrific abuse of the help, Patra stated, "I will respond to all inquiries. You'll have to be patient." She claims that the allegations against her are politically motivated and that she has been wrongfully implicated in the case.

Sunita, the house help, can be seen in the video lying in a hospital bed with wounds all over her body and face. She could barely speak, had many missing teeth, and couldn't sit up.

She claimed she was imprisoned, tortured, and beaten with rods and an iron pan. She was allegedly forced to lick urine off the floor for days and was denied food and water. Sunita, in her statement, said, "She also broke my teeth with an iron rod." While talking about Patra's son Ayushman, whose gesture saved her, she said, "I am only alive because of him."

On Tuesday, members of various tribal outfits paid a visit to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), where the woman was receiving treatment, and met with her.

About Seema Patra, the suspended BJP leader:
Seema Patra was a member of the BJP's women's wing's national working committee. Following her Facebook profile, Patra was also the state convenor of the centre's 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign. Maheshwar Patra, Seema Patra's husband, is a retired IAS officer. They live in Ranchi's Ashok Nagar neighbourhood. According to police, no evidence was found against Patra's husband.

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