(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.)
Days after a woman from India died by suicide in New York, after alleging in a video clip shared with her parents that she had been repeatedly subjected to domestic violence by her husband, the Najibabad Police station registered an FIR against the husband’s parents and brother.
The FIR has been filed on a complaint by the father of the deceased woman against the accused under sections:
306 IPC: Abetment of suicide
498 A IPC: Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty
323 IPC: Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt
Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961: Penalty for giving or taking dowry
Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961: Penalty for demanding dowry
While Ranjodhbeer Singh, the husband of the woman has already been arrested in New York and the police there is investigating the case against him, the woman’s father has alleged that the man’s family had fuelled his acts of violence.
The complainant claimed that he had given a car and other items of household importance to his daughter Mandeep Kaur at the time of her marriage with Singh.
However, Ranjodhbeer Singh and his family members were also asking for Rs 25 lakh in cash, the complainant was quoted in the FIR as alleging.
When the woman’s father expressed his incapacity to provide the sum, the husband and his family were embittered, and shortly after the marriage they allegedly started to “physically and mentally harass her.”
As per the FIR, the complainant said:
"In a bid to kill my daughter, her in-laws sent her to USA on tourist Visa where my daughter was regularly beaten up. This was caught on the CCTV footage sent to us. My daughter held on to the marriage with a hope that everything will become normal but her in-laws didn’t let her live in peace. They used to instigate their son over phone against my daughter resulting in her husband assaulting and mentally harassing her."
According to the FIR, about a year ago, Kaur had reportedly filed a complaint with the New York Police against Singh for domestic violence, but had subsequently forgiven him, and retracted her complaint in a bid to save her married life.
Singh allegedly had affairs with other women. Kaur's father further alleged in the complaint that her husband used to try to curb her communication with her family.
‘Take Urgent Steps To Prevent Re-Occurrence’: Raghav Chadha to EAM
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Raghav Chadha met External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Monday, demanding justice for Kaur, who died by suicide on 3 August.
He said in his letter, “What is more devastating is that she had made multiple attempts to escape her abusive marriage and one shudders to think how many such Indian women are struggling with domestic abuse in foreign countries.”
He added, “I urge the Ministry to take urgent steps to prevent re-occurrence and provide means to Indian women living abroad to escape cycles of violence and abuse by perpetrators of such crimes.”
Chadha has earlier said in a tweet, "The tragic news of Mandeep Kaur’s suicide in NY due to domestic violence and abuse has left us all shattered. My prayers are with the aggrieved family and her children and I have sought time from Minister External Affairs to seek his timely intervention to ensure justice."