(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)
On Wednesday, 11 August, Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal sent a Rakhi to Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, along with a letter seeking justice for Mandeep Kaur, a resident of New York who died by suicide after being subjected to repeated domestic abuse by her husband for close to eight years.
In her letter on behalf of the Delhi Commission for Women, she requested the minister to issue directions to ensure that steps were taken to provide justice to Kaur and her family.
Maliwal urged Jaishankar to help bring Kaur's mortal remains back to her family in India, among other requests.
She also requested that a team of psychologists, social workers, and police officers, appointed by the Government of India, meet Kaur's children and ascertain their condition.
The DCW chairperson further urged that a report on the same be submitted before a Judicial Magistrate, who should then be requested to examine the issue and suggest further action for the welfare of Kaur's children.
In her tweet, she says, "After suffering domestic violence for 8 years, Mandeep Kaur died by suicide in New York. On this Rakshabandhan, along with this Rakhi, I have written a letter to Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar to bring justice to our sister Mandeep. Additionally, I have requested him to assure security to all Indian women living outside India."
'Ensure Welfare of Mandeep's Children'
In her letter, she added that steps should be taken to ensure the arrest of the accused, and if required, the Government of India should appoint a lawyer on behalf of Kaur's family.
She requested for a timely investigation and trial into the FIRs filed against the accused by Kaur's father in India.
The DCW chairperson said that NGOs and consulates could be asked to get in touch with NRI women and provide help should they find any victim of domestic violence.
In her letter, she writes, "..We all must work towards ensuring justice and welfare of her (Mandeep Kaur) children."
Mandeep Kaur, a 30-year-old woman of Indian origin residing in 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 of ages four and six, whose custody currently lies with Ranjodhbeer Singh Sandhu. While the husband and daughters are currently in Richmond Hill, New York, his family is reportedly from Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor.