The CCTV footage from the couple's home shows the man, a pilot, brutally assaulting the woman, even as their dog tries to intervene.

Husband beating his wifeScreengrab
news Domestic violence Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 12:46

32-year-old M Lavanya Lahari, a software engineer, took her own life on Thursday night in Rallagua, Shamshabad, which is at the outskirts of Hyderabad city. She left behind a Facebook post and a suicide note that blamed her husband, Venkateshwarlu, for her decision. Following her death, her family has released a horrifying video, which shows Lavanya's husband assaulting her in their home.

Although it's not clear when the assault happened, the CCTV footage shows the couple in the living room. The man can be seen repeatedly hitting the woman, even as she tries to defend herself. Their pet dog can also be seen trying to intervene in vain. Finally, after the man stops, the injured woman can be seen slowly getting up and walking in pain, holding her stomach. 

Trigger warning: Violence, assault

According to reports, Venkateshwarlu works as pilot in a private airline. Apart from accusing her husband of mental and physical harassment, Lavanya had also alleged that he was having an extramarital relationship. 

Lavanya's relatives, who saw the Facebook post, alerted her parents who then informed her husband. Venkateshwarlu reportedly rushed to her room but she was found dead. 

The couple, hailing from Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, had a love marriage in 2012. However, Venkateshwarlu and his relatives allegedly taunted Lavanya because she could not become pregnant. 

The police have recovered a suicide note, and Lavanya's parents have lodged a complaint against Venkateshwarlu at the Rajiv Gandhi International (RGI) Airport police station under the Cyberabad Police Commissionerate. Venkateshwarlu has been booked for cruelty and abetment to suicide, and has been arrested.

Meanwhile, Lavanya's father in a video, has alleged that his daughter was murdered by her husband and that the latter is trying to pass it off as a suicide. 

"He was also in the same house when my daughter was found dead. He might have seen her suicide note and then killed her after harassing her. This is not the first time, he has harassed her several times before this. Unable to bear all that, she might have thought of taking her life," the distraught father alleged.

Speaking to the media, Inspector Vijay Kumar said, "The family in a complaint copy has stated that Lavanya's husband and his relatives used to insult her for her inability to bear a child. She has written that she was being physically and mentally harassed. We are looking into all this. The investigations are on."

Lavanya was a techie who had worked for multinational companies until recently. According to her family, she had taken a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.   

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584

Karnataka

Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222 

Kerala

Maithri: 0484 2540530

Chaithram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.

Telangana

State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.    

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726 

Click here for working helplines across India

Read: Shut in with the abuser: Victims of domestic violence more vulnerable amid lockdown

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