A court in Dubai has charged a 29-year-old Indian man and his wife for the death of his mother. She died of physical assault which had caused her bones and rib to fracture. She also had internal bleeding and severe burns, according to a media report.
The report said that the man and his 28-year-old wife, whose identities have not been revealed, tortured the elderly woman repeatedly and they even cut out the iris of her right eye and part of her left eye too, the Court of First Instance heard.
The torture is believed to have lasted from July 2018 to October 2018. A forensic doctor said that the elderly woman weighed just 29 kg at the time of her death, the report added, suggesting starvation.
The couple has been detained but they denied the charge. A case was registered at Al Qusais police station in Dubai.
The case was exposed by the couple's 54-year-old neighbour, who is a hospital employee, the report said. The Indian witness recounted how the man's wife visited her at her apartment in the same building.
"She was then holding her daughter. She claimed that her mother-in-law had come from India but did not take proper care of their daughter and that the girl would often fall sick while in her care. She wanted me to look after the girl until she came back from work."
About three days later, the witness spotted an elderly woman lying down in her neighbours' balcony. "That woman was almost naked with apparent burn marks on her body. I informed the security guard immediately," she said.
The witness said she then knocked on the couple's door.
"I found his mother on the floor... She was in a critical condition and needed urgent medical treatment. I called the ambulance."
The witness recalled how the mother cried and screamed in pain when the paramedics tried to carry her because of the burns she had.
"The defendant remained in the flat and did not go with his mother initially. I told the paramedics he should go along. He went later after they talked him into it," the witness said.
A Filipino paramedic, 36, recalled how he found the victim in a very bad shape in her son's flat.
"She was in awful pain. Her hands and legs were swollen and her legs bore burn marks. Her son claimed she had poured hot water on herself when we asked him about the cause of the burn injuries. He was standing far from her, apparently indifferent about her condition."
The paramedic added that the son did not even help carry his mother to the ambulance while the neighbours, who were around, stepped in to help.
"She was tortured repeatedly over a short span of time. Burns covered 10 per cent of her body. The bones and ribs were fractured; internal bleeding, beating with different tools, burns, negligence and starvation have all led to the deterioration of her health condition," the doctor said.
According to a hospital certificate, the woman died on October 31, 2018.
The trial has been adjourned until July 3 and the couple will remain in custody till then.