In a piece of tragically heartbreaking news, it came out that a 20-year-old Indian student was being held captive by three men, beaten viciously, forced to work at three homes and kept in abhorrent conditions for almost 7 months.
Fortunately, he was rescued by authorities in the United States after a concerned citizen made a call to 911 leading to the police investigating the house and finding him.
As per reports, the incident was said to be “absolutely inhumane and unconscionable” and the Missouri police arrested Venkatesh R Sattaru (35), Sravan Varma Penumetcha (27), and Nikhil Verma Penmatsa (23).
The horrifying incident occurred in the St. Charles County of the US state of Missouri where the three men Venkatesh R Sattaru, Sravan Varma Penumetcha, and Nikhil Verma Penmatsa, were keeping a 20-year-old Indian student captive for around seven months with no bathroom access, beating him constantly with various things including PVC pipes and forcing him to work under inhumane conditions.
St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph McCulloch announced that the men had been arrested and charged with various offences including human trafficking, kidnapping, assault and more.
The police were made aware of the situation when a concerned citizen got to know about what was happening and made a 911 call. This led to the authorities searching the house and finding out the victim and what was happening to him. Currently, the victim is reported to be safe and getting treatment for various ailments like multiple bone fractures, lacerations, and injuries covering his entire body at a hospital.
According to reports, the victim was locked in a basement by the men, forced to sleep on an unfinished floor and did not even have access to a bathroom.
Furthermore, he was made to scavenge for food scraps from dumpsters of nearby restaurants and McCulloch at a news conference stating “It’s absolutely inhumane and unconscionable that one human being could treat another human being like this.”
As per St Louis Post-Dispatch, a major regional newspaper, it was revealed that the victim was beaten with electrical wire, PVC pipe, metal rods, wooden boards, sticks and a water supply hose for a washing machine.
The men are accused of confining and abusing the victim at three different homes all owned by Sattaru in Defiance, Dardenne Prairie and O’Fallon.
The main culprit is said to be Sattaru, who lived in O’Fallon with a wife and children and is also facing charges like “human trafficking for the purpose of slavery and contributing to human trafficking through misuse of documentation.”
The student was held captive and held in these conditions since April 2023 when the innocent victim came to the US from India last year intending to study at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.
However, once he reached the country, he was taken to Sattaru’s home and made to do chores starting from 4.30 am itself, and is said to get no more than 3 hours of sleep daily on a concrete floor in a basement that was under camera surveillance and checked by Sattaru.
He also worked a full day for Sattaru’s IT company and did a list of tasks in the evening all while having to endure cruelty beyond measure. McCulloch revealed that “They beat him with their fists, they stomped on him, they beat him with electrical wiring, with PVC pipes,” and that “They forced him to sleep in an unfinished basement, they starved him, and limited his access to the public and to restrooms.”
Reports also state that he was forced to strip naked and then beaten all over his body with the accused kicking, stomping and lashing at him with his injuries also including older fractures and breaks that did not heal properly.
The accused are said to be held at the St Charles County Jail without bond because they are wealthy and have political connections in India.
When the police arrived at the home to investigate after the call, they were initially denied entry by a man inside, but the 20-year-old victim finally came running out of the basement in a frantic state. He was said to be trembling uncontrollably and had heavy scarring, bruises and swellings all over his body as per the charges.
Once in the presence of authorities he further revealed that while Sattaru, who is said to be a cousin of the victim, would be the one to beat him frequently, sometimes he’d have Penumetcha and Penmatsa punish him and tell them to keep beating him if Sattaru was not satisfied.
McCulloch added about the importance of vigilance of regular citizens saying “If you see something, say something. We would much rather check it out and find nothing than have an incident like this that’s been going on for nearly a year.”
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