The man’s daughters have alleged that he had been harassing them for a while, but the police dissuaded them from filing a complaint and asked them to solve the matter at home.

Man resorting to hit with dumble Screenshot
news Violence on women Sunday, September 13, 2020 - 17:36

A man in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district, who had allegedly been harassing his wife and daughters for the past few months now, has been arrested after his daughters recorded a video of him slamming a dumbbell into his wife’s head. The man, who works as a driver with the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (RTC), has been accused of harassing his wife and two daughters for a long time. The daughters have alleged that he would get drunk every day and misbehave with them as well as their mother. According to them, his harassment included sexual advances. 

The man’s daughters have alleged that despite multiple complaints, the local police did not take their complaints seriously. Then, on September 4, they recorded their father's behaviour and caught him on camera hitting their mother with the dumbbell. 

“We were exhausted. Our father would regularly come home after drinking and kept fighting with us, sexually harassing and abusing us. Every time we would approach the police at the Indrapalem police station asking for action against him, the police would ask us to compromise and tell us to excuse him this one time,” the man’s daughter said.

She further added, “As they (the police) never bothered (to take action), we were somehow adjusting, and keeping to ourselves. However, one day, he hit her with a dumbbell because she didn't concede to his arguments and we all continued to argue with him.”

The daughter further alleged that he would sexually abuse their mother and deliberately watch pornography in front of the kids. He allegedly also passed lewd comments when his daughters' friends came to their house.

This time, because there was a video of the attack, a case was filed against the man a day after the incident, on September 5. The police are using the video as evidence against the accused in the case. The man had gone absconding and was arrested by the police on September 11.

When TNM reached out to Indrapalem police, Sub-Inspector Nagarjuna Raju told TNM that the man was arrested soon after the incident was reported. When asked about the video of the attack, he said, “The video, which was shot by one of his daughters, is being kept as evidence.”

The case has been registered under Sections 307 (Attempt to murder), 354-C (Punishment for voyeurism) and 498-A (Subjecting a woman to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code. The police have denied any delay or inaction in filing initial complaints. The Sub-Inspector said that the arrest was delayed as he went absconding for a few days. 

The wife of the man, who was seriously injured, was treated at a hospital after the attack and since then has been discharged, currently staying at home.   

K Sudha, an advocate and the General Secretary of Human Rights Forum (HRF), says that the police should follow due course when victims reach out. She said, "If they had acted when they complained, they would have prevented such a grave incident." She further stated that the underlying reason for such inaction is due to “lack of trust in the women victims, which is patriarchal conditioning.”

(Names of the man and his family have been withheld to protect the women’s identities)

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