A married couple who allegedly kept three women as ‘slaves’ at an apartment in London for 30 years have been named by UK media as Aravindan and Chanda Balakrishnan.
The pair were arrested last week after the women were rescued from a house in Brixton, south London, after allegedly suffering years of “physical and mental abuse”.
Aravindan Balakrishnan, 73, is a former Communist party activist who ran a Maoist party-cum-commune in the 1970s, according to multiple British media reports. He was known as Comrade Bala but split from the party in 1974.
He and his wife Chanda, 67, allegedly recruited women who shared their far left ideology into the cult-like Left-wing commune.
The victims, a 69-year-old woman from Malaysia, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old Briton, were released last month after one of them contacted the Freedom Charity to complain about their treatment.
According to the Guardian the youngest victim is believed to be the daughter of the Irish woman and Aravindan Balakrishnan.
On Sunday it emerged that this same woman had sent scented love letters to her neighbour.
Mail Online reported the woman was obsessed with neighbour Marius Feneck.
She allegedly sent Feneck 500 love letters and seven photos of herself – a slim, brunette woman with pale skin – over seven years.
“She used to send me pictures and write me letters about how she wanted to be with me. I wasn’t interested but she wouldn’t stop trying to get with me,” Feneck said.
In one of the notes, she warned her ‘beloved sweetheart’ not to reply or talk to anybody about it because she feared her captors would do something “evil” to him.
Feneck’s girlfriend, 25-year-old Rachael Price, said the girl, who they knew as ‘Rose’, posted the letters when she walked to the local Tesco supermarket with her alleged captors.
Ms Price said the alleged captive had recently written her a “vile letter” falsely accusing her of attacking Feneck.
“She said I was disgusting, and my children didn’t deserve me. Rose had a weird dead-eyed look to her and I was scared of her. I was thinking of going to the police. If I had gone, she might have got away earlier,” she said.
Commander Steve Rodhouse said that police believe two of the three women victims, who were allegedly held against their will for over 30 years, met the male suspect in London “through a shared political ideology and that they lived together at an address that you could effectively call ‘a collective.'”
He said police are investigating “the nature of that collective and how it operated.”
The two suspects have been released on bail.
The three victims are receiving extensive counseling after their decades-long ordeal.
Detectives say they are trying to understand the “invisible handcuffs” used to control the women.
“What we have uncovered so far is a complicated and disturbing picture of emotional control over many years,” Rodhouse said.
“Brainwashing would be a simple term but I think that belittles the years of emotional abuse these victims have had to endure.”