Bhopal: At least 40 mentally ill patients, kept bound in chains, have been rescued from hotels and lodges in Madhya Pradesh’s Ratlam district, police said on Sunday.
The mentally ill patients were ostensibly brought to the Hussain Tekri shrine in the district by their relatives seeking a cure.
“There is a shrine here by the name of Hussain Tekri. It is believed that the mentally ill can be cured here by using frankincense,” said Deepak Shukla, Superintendent of Police of the district’s Jaora Sharif area.
The shrine, built in 19th century, is situated on the outskirts of Jaora Sharif town, 33 km from district headquarter city of Ratlam. The shrine is known for Hajri rituals, including use of frankincense, intended to cure mental ailments.
“The patient’s relatives have to stay until the treatment is complete. Due to lack of time, the relatives often leave the patients under the care of the hotel or lodge employees at a cost of Rs 8,000-10,000 per month,” Shukla said.
The employees are responsible for taking the patients regularly to Hussain Tekri for their treatment and for their general well-being.
“We received a complaint in the last few days that the hotel/lodge employees tie up the patients in chains and take them to the shrine. Based on this, we rescued 40 mentally ill patients on Sunday,” the police superintendent said.
Shukla further directed that no mentally ill patient should be kept in chains in any hotel or lodge, nor should he or she be taken to Hussain Tekri in chains.