A barbaric case of assault has come to light in Bengaluru, where a man allegedly tortured his wife by burning parts of her body, including her genitals, with a clothes iron.
It was a little after midnight on September 23, when 30-year-old Jeevan* entered his Banaswadi home in an inebriated state. He then picked a quarrel with his wife, 26-year-old Josephine*, and began to hurl abuses at her.
This was not the first time that Josephine had witnessed him in such a state. But what happened as the argument grew was something she had never expected. Jeevan allegedly demanded that Josephine bring home more jewels from her parentsâ€™ home.
He then tied her up with an iron wire and beat her black and blue, said the police. â€śHe then heated a clothes iron and burnt her arms and legs. He also burnt her private parts with the iron,â€ť said Banaswadi Inspector Muniraju.
Josephine finally lost consciousness when Jeevan allegedly hit her on the head with the edge of a knife.
According to the police, Josephine lay injured in her house till the next day, when her parents arrived. â€śThe day after this incident occurred, the womanâ€™s parents came to visit her. They found her in an injured state and immediately rushed her to the Ambedkar Hospital. The woman has said that Jeevan had been assaulting her for a long time. She said that she had come forward to file a complaint now as she fears for her life,â€ť the Inspector added.
â€śThis is not the first time he beat me but he has injured my body severely. I was not able to wake up until my parents rescued me and took me to the hospital. I would have probably died,â€ť Josephine wrote in her complaint.
Josephine sustained grievous injuries, but is now recovering in the hospital. Despite her condition, she went to the Banaswadi Police Station on Monday evening and filed a complaint against her husband.
The police immediately arrested Jeevan after filing an FIR under section 326 (voluntarily causing grievous injuries with a weapon) of the IPC. However, a case under Section 498A (Cruelty by husband or his relatives) of the IPC has not yet been filed.
â€śWe have to conduct a preliminary investigation, only after that we can charge Jeevan with domestic violence or dowry demand. For now, we have filed assault complaint,â€ť Inspector Muniraju said.
It is difficult to arrive at exact statistics of women who experience spousal violence in the state or in the country, as some cases such as the above may be registered under other sections of the law. However, National Crime Records Bureau data show over 1.13 lakh cases of cruelty by husbands or their relatives in 2015.
In Karnataka, reports say that 4,186 cases were registered under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act in 2015. And according to the National Family Health Survey for 2015-2016, a little over 20% of women have experienced spousal violence in both rural and urban Karnataka.
*Names changed to protect privacy.