Woman In Her 30s Found Caged In A Room Surrounded By Her Faeces And Urine

Nazitah survived by drinking water from an external source, and it is believed she was forced to live in such conditions for 10 years.

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Family Of Woman Found Caged In Room Says They Had No Choice But To Lock Her Up

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The family of a mentally challenged woman, who was locked in a room for over 10 years, denied that they had neglected her or was cruel. Ismail Ibrahim, 57, the elder brother of Nasitah Yahya, 44, said Nasitah was locked up because she suffered from chronic mental problems.

"My sister is dangerous to herself and the people around her and she is unable to lead a life of a normal person and is very aggressive in nature. We are worried about her safety and for others as she has a habit of wandering around if left alone,” Ibrahim said when met at the district hospital here on Saturday.

Ismail claimed that in 2010, his sister was sent to a hospital in Johor and later relocated to a private care centre in Perak that charges RM600 a month. "But we were not satisfied with the services rendered and we brought her back here."

"The reason why we have deprived Nasitah of water and electricity was because she has the habit of playing with water and had smashed the electricity bulbs in the room. There are lights outside the room that switches on when it is dark that is activated from 7pm to 7am," he claimed.

A week after Muhammad Firdaus Dullah was found in an extremely sorry state in Taman Semarak, another case of neglect and abuse has emerged when a woman was found caged in a small room and in inhuman conditions

The woman with Down Syndrome, believed to be in her 30s, was rescued by police and the district welfare department yesterday following a public tip-off.

It is believed that she had been forced to live in such conditions in the house at Kampung Pasir Pekan Hulu here for the past 10 years

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The woman, who was only identified as Nazitah, was rescued from a small and dark room surrounded by her faeces and urine after the authorities freed her by cutting open the iron grille entrance to the room which was hidden from sight.

The woman, who was deemed by her elder brother as “potentially dangerous”, had to rely on the kindness of passers-by for regular meals, and access to water and electricity. It was learnt that the plight of the woman, identified only as ‘Ita’, began when her parents died more than 10 years ago.

District police chief Supt Zaharuddin Rasip said police are looking for a man believed to be her brother to get to the bottom of the matter after neighbours alerted the police and the welfare department at 3.30pm

“When police and the department officers arrived at the house, we found the woman in a terrible condition and looking undernourished. The room was dark, small and initial investigations showed that she had been surviving by drinking water from an external source,” he said when met at the scene.

“Our investigations also showed that the victim’s brother lives nearby,” Supt Zaharudin said. “We are trying to trace him to find out why the woman was caged up. Neighbours said she was locked in the room to prevent her from wandering away from home.

“But the room is too small and based on observations, she had been left alone to fend for herself,” he said, adding that the victim was sent to the district hospital for treatment.

A resident, Rubiah Abdullah, 54, said she was sad to see the woman caged up like that and believed that the victim was locked up for her own good

Nazitah being brought out from her room at Kampung Pasir Pekan Hulu in Tumpat Kelantan by welfare department officers.

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“I believe her remaining family members were busy and did not think they could care for her properly, which was why they decided to lock her in the room. For her water supply, the family connected a garden hose from a pipe outside which led into the room. However, she could only have water if someone turned on the pipe for her from outside. She could also only have light in the room if someone switched it on from the outside,” she claimed.

Robiah claimed that Nazitah would often call out to her when she passed the house, asking her to turn on the pipe and ask for the light to be switched on. She claimed that Ita’s condition worsened around two years ago. “She began looking more ill and lost a lot of weight. I could only pass food to her via the gap between the locked grill door,” she said.

A check by the press at the house yesterday showed that the dank, windowless room contained a mattress with dirty sheets. Its bare cement floor had faeces and urine.

Nazitah, garbed in a long T-shirt and sarong, appeared gaunt and frail and surprised by the attention. Tumpat Kelantan People's Action Council youth chief Aiman Yusri Mohd Yusuf said he learnt of Nazitah’s case from other locals and decided to alert the authorities and the media.

“If it was true that she would cause trouble if she was free, and that no one could care for her, the family had other options. Instead, she was left alone and given food only when they had the time. This is cruel. They treated her like an animal,” he said.

Nazitah's case comes a week after disabled teenager Muhammad Firdaus Dullah was rescued from a filthy home where he had been left alone

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