“I cannot explain how I handled it for 10 years, but somehow I did it,” said 34-year-old Rahman of Ayiloor village in Palakkad district, as he opened up to reporters on how he hid a woman he was in a relationship with, inside a small room in his house, supposedly without his family’s knowledge, for a decade.
Rahman and Sajitha, the woman who stayed in the room with him for ten years, say they were in a relationship but were afraid of their respective parents’ disapproval. They moved out of Rahman’s family’s home three months ago, in March, and rented a house in Vithanassery village in Palakkad. Rahman’s family filed a missing persons report after he disappeared. On June 8, however, Rahman’s brother spotted him near Nenmara and confronted him with the assistance of the police. That’s when the couple’s shocking storey came to light.
Sajitha was 18 at the time, and Rahman was 24; the couple had been dating for two years. “She told me one day that she couldn’t stay at her house any longer. I had no choice but to ask her to accompany me. I was expecting money, so I decided to accompany her and live somewhere else. But the money was delayed, and when I finally received it, my family took it away from me. As a result, we were stymied “Rahman explains. It is unclear how Rahman brought Sajitha into the house, and she was kept in a small room for years without anyone in Rahman’s family knowing. However, according to the couple’s claims, Sajitha spent ten years in a small room of a tile-roofed house.
Sajitha’s parents, who lived just a few meters away, were reportedly unaware of Sajitha’s whereabouts, as were Rahman’s parents and sister, who also lived in the same house as the couple. Sajitha’s parents had even filed a missing person’s report in 2010, and the police had questioned many people, including Rahman, at the time. However, Rahman and Sajitha’s arrangement was not discovered.
Rahman, an electrician by trade, arranged for a special lock system for his room, according to his family. He also allegedly placed some electric wires outside the door and instructed his family not to touch them. Meanwhile, his family blamed his secrecy and eccentric behaviour on mental health issues.
Rahman, on the other hand, has denied the family’s claim that he electrified the door to his room. “I didn’t do it. The police went there and searched, but they couldn’t find anything because I hadn’t done anything of the sort,” Rahman told the media.
Rahman had made sure that the wooden bars could be removed when needed in the tiny room, which had only one window. According to the police, Sajitha would only leave the house at night to use the restroom; she would remove the bars and jump out the window to use the restroom outside the house. Rahman would bring her medicines if she became ill. “I had installed a television in the room. I’d bring food to the room for us to eat together “Rahman stated.
The situation became complicated when COVID-19 struck and Rahman was unable to report for work. As a result, he was unable to contribute financially to the household, causing discord that eventually led to his departure in March 2021. “My family was not pleased with me eating there since my income had stopped. They’d just serve me plain rice. As a result, we had food problems “Rahman stated.
Sajitha also told the media that they had no choice but to remain as they were due to their circumstances. “He gave me half of what he got.” He took excellent care of me. However, staying in a room was difficult. During the day, I used to wear a headset and walk around the room while watching TV.” “When no one was there, I used to come out of the room at times,” she added. I used to go out and walk at night, but not during the day. Except for a few headaches, I didn’t get sick.” She also mentioned that in the last decade, she has missed two weddings in her birthplace.
The couple stated that they are relieved that they no longer have to hide. Both missing persons cases have also been closed by the police. Though there are several unanswered questions about this strange storey, ranging from how the family could have been unaware of Sajitha’s presence in such a small space to why Rahman and Sajitha waited so long to live openly, Rahman has requested that the public refrain from harassing them. He has stated that they wish to be left alone.