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Indian student beaten, held captive at US home for months; 3 arrested

Indian student beaten, held captive at US home for months; 3 arrested

The Missouri Police in the United States arrested three men on charges of keeping a 20-year-old Indian student captive and assaulting him.

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The Missouri Police in the United States arrested three men on charges of keeping a 20-year-old Indian student captive and assaulting him. 

The rescued student, who had come to the US from India last year to study at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, is being treated at a hospital for multiple bone fractures, as well as lacerations and injuries covering his entire body.

The student, whose name was not disclosed, was held captive for more than seven months by one of his cousins and two other men.

He was not given washroom access, beaten up and was forced to work at three homes, police said.

The incident was reported by a 'concerned citizen' who became aware of the situation, as per reports.

Upon arriving at the home, located on a rural highway in St Charles County, the police arrested the accused, identified as Venkatesh R Sattaru (35) (the main suspect), Sravan Varma Penumetcha and Nikhil Verma Penmatsa. They were charged with offences including human trafficking, kidnapping and assault.

Police said the student was taken to Sattaru's home beginning in April and was forced to begin chores, work a full day for Sattaru's IT company and then complete a list of evening tasks.

For over seven months, the men locked the student in a basement and forced him to sleep on an unfinished floor without access to a bathroom, charges stated. He scavenged for scraps in nearby restaurant dumpsters.

The police, giving out more details, described the incident as "absolutely inhumane and unconscionable".

They also said the three different homes were owned by Sattaru in Defiance, Dardenne Prairie and O'Fallon.

Sattaru was identified by investigators as the ringleader who lived in the O’Fallon home with his wife and children. He was additionally charged with human trafficking for slavery and contributing to human trafficking through misuse of documentation.

Penumetcha and Penmatsa lived in the home from where the student was rescued.

Briefing a conference, the police said they were initially not allowed to enter the home. However, the student eventually came running from the basement.

He was trembling uncontrollably, heavily scarred and suffering from bruising and swelling all over his body, charges stated. 

Edited By: Joydeep Hazarika
Published On: Dec 01, 2023