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Friday, 18 December 2009

Criminal intimidation: Lecturer keeps wife under house arrest and aborts their child in Bangalore, India

Lecturer keeps wife under house arrest and aborts their child

A computer science lecturer subjects his wife to inhuman treatment, confining her for six months and aborting their child, ‘ably’ supported by his dad, mom and sister
December 17, 2009
Like the man who had locked up his wife and three daughters for seven years in Mumbai, a lecturer in Bangalore kept his wife under ‘house arrest’ for six months, feeding her only stale food, besides subjecting her to physical and mental torture.
Rajini, 28, a resident of Vijayanagar, has filed a complaint with the Vijayanagar police against her husband, M L Harish Kumar, a computer science lecturer in Basaveshwara College, as well as her in-laws. She has accused them of physical and mental abuse, and harassment for dowry.

According to the police, Harish married Rajini H S in November 2007. The family of this diploma-holder in electronics and communication from a middle-class family - her father is an agriculturist - had spent Rs 10 lakh for the wedding.

No sooner did she move into her in-laws’ house at Pandavapura in Mandya district, than her travails began. “I was subjected to torture from day one. Everyone, including my husband, would abuse me. Since they threatened that they would get my parents arrested in a false case, I decided to stay mum,” she said.

Rajini said she was confined to a room for six months and not allowed to meet her family members or relatives. “A few months after the marriage, I was taken to their house in Mylapura village of Nagamangala taluk, where they confined me for about three months, and I was tortured and taunted,” she said.

She said she was being fed stale food, which “even dogs would refuse to eat”. After three months of confinement, they took her back to the Vijayanagar house, where she was again confined for three more months.

When Rajini told her in-laws that she had got pregnant, they started harassing her and pressured her to abort the child. “In May 2008, they forced me to have two pills that resulted in abortion,” she said.

The torture did not end there. “I was not even allowed to bolt my room. My in-laws would just walk into my room and abuse me,” said Rajini.

She said the entire neighbourhood knew she was being harassed. Whenever her family members tried to intervene, they were abused and driven out. “In October this year, I was beaten up by my husband, due to which I had a problem in my eye. My parents admitted me to a hospital, where it was set right. Even when I was in the hospital, neither my husband nor my in-laws visited me,” she added. Rajini said she had lost a lot of weight due to repeated harassment.

As if the physical torture was not enough, on Nov 10, her in-laws allegedly demanded that she divorce Harish as they wanted him to marry another girl. Her in-laws allegedly beat her, leaving her bleeding in the left thumb.

After silently putting up with all the suffering, she left her in-laws’ house and went to her parents’ house. “I tolerated the harassment for two years for the only reason that I have a younger sister. But now, I cannot remain silent and want the people who tortured me behind bars,” she said.

Rajini filed a complaint of dowry harassment and criminal intimidation in Vijayanagar police station on Nov 18. The complaint has been filed against Harish; father-in-law M D Lingegowda, a retired village accountant; mother-in-law Chandramma; and sister-in-law Lalitha under Sections 498A and 506 of Indian Penal Code.

When Bangalore Mirror contacted Harish over phone on Thursday afternoon, he declined to speak, but only said the “matter has been decided”, and disconnected the call.

Meanwhile, R L N Murthy, an advocate, said it is a case of cruelty against a woman, where the victim had suffered illegal confinement by her in-laws. “The accused has to be punished according to the law,” he said.

Section 498A IPC
Whoever, being the husband or relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such a woman to cruelty, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to be fined.

Section 506 IPC
Whoever commits the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

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