Out of the darkness: Nazitah being brought out from her room at Kampung Pasir Pekan Hulu in Tumpat Kelantan by welfare department officers.
TUMPAT: Another case of neglect and abuse emerged here when a woman with Down Syndrome was found caged in a small room and in inhuman conditions.
The mentally-challenged woman, 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.
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.
District police chief Supt Zaharuddin Rasip said police are looking for a man believed to be the victim’s 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’s case comes a week after disabled teenager Muhammad Firdaus Dullah was rescued from a filthy home where he had been left alone.