(Trigger Warning: Descriptions of domestic violence. If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs)
A 30-year-old Indian-origin woman Mandeep Kaur, a resident of New York, died by suicide on 3 August, after repeated domestic abuse allegedly by her husband Ranjodhbeer Singh Sandhu for close to eight years.
Kaur is survived by her two daughters, aged four and six, whose custody currently lies with Sandhu. While the husband and daughters are currently in Richmond Hill, New York, his family is reportedly from Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor.
According to Instagram page @TheKaurMovement, the New York Police Department is investigating the case as a homicide rather than a case of suicide. The Quint is trying to independently verify the same.
In a video posted by @TheKaurMovement, Kaur described violence and abuse throughout her married life. Showing her bruises and blood clots, she explained how her in-laws encouraged the abuse.
"I am really very sad. It has been eight years. I have tried my best. I was beaten up every day. I have been suffering him and his beatings, thinking that he will improve someday. But no, he beat me up for eight years. Had extra-marital affairs. We lived there (in India) for the first two and a half years and it was hell."Mandeep Kaur, in a viral video
"Then we came here. He would get drunk and beat me up. Sometimes he would beat me even without being drunk. He would beat, me and on top of that, be with other women. I tried to put up with it for my children," she added.
"My father registered a police case. Then he started begging, saying, 'save me, save me.' I saved him. I tried to set everything right. But my in-laws didn't do anything to help me. God will show everyone. I won't say anything. God will punish everyone. You all ganged up and left me helpless. I have to leave my kids and go now," Kaur said in the video.
The Quint is trying to independently verify where the case against Sandhu was filed.
In another video that has surfaced online, Sandhu is allegedly captured pushing her onto a bed and strangling her as she cries for help. Kaur is heard saying – "I refuse to take this anymore."
In the same video, her children can be heard crying, "Papa, no maaro mumma nu" (Papa, stop hitting mom), while she is being abused.
'We Have Failed You': Twitter on #JusticeForMandeep
People on Twitter called for #JusticeForMandeep, pointing how the case has thrown light, yet again, on the toxic culture that celebrates masculinity. They also tweeted videos of protest outside her house in Richmond Hill, with signs and posts on how society failed Kaur.
Sikh Women's Aid Condemns Incident
Sikh Women's Aid – an organisation based out of United Kingdom – released a statement condemning the incident, adding that they are currently sitting on two domestic homicide reviews of Sikh women allegedly murdered by their husbands.
"Our recent survey showed that 70 percent of all respondents had suffered a form of domestic abuse. 35 percent of respondents had experienced sexual abuse and exploitation as a child. The Sikh community is in crisis, the numbers of deaths of women due to domestic abuse is rising. There is a collective ownership on every single one of us to challenge and support victims of abuse," the Sikh Women's Aid said, in the statement.
"If you are experiencing abuse or are unsure about what you are feeling, reach out for confidential, professional advise on helpline 03330901220 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org," the organisation added.
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