“If you can, please come now itself. Come towards the road. I am ready to come, I was thrashed by him and his mother. I am not sure if I will be alive tonight.” These were the words of Sunisha, a 26-year-old Kerala woman, speaking to her brother, days before she was found dead at her in-laws’ house in Kannur district. While it was initially presumed to be a case of death by suicide, it has now surfaced that the woman was under severe trauma due to alleged violence by her in-laws. Audio recordings of the woman detailing the harassment she had been facing have now surfaced in the media. The woman’s family has also come out stating that though multiple complaints were registered, there was allegedly no police action.
Sunisha got married to Payyanur native Vijeesh one and a half years ago. According to Sunisha’s family, she used to call her relatives and complain about the violence she had been facing at her husband’s house. “She used to say that he (husband) used to beat her black and blue, that his mother pulls her hair and beats her and that his father has even beaten her with a helmet. For calling us and telling us this, they seized her phone and broke it. For the past one month she was not even having food from the house. She used to take parcels (from shops),” Sunisha’s relative told Asianet News. The relative also added that though they had gone to bring back Sunisha multiple times, her husband Vijeesh, did not allow her to leave.
Meanwhile, the family raised serious allegations of police inaction. Sunisha’s brother Sudheesh, told Asianet News that on multiple occasions when she had called him, asking to take her back, the family had approached Payyannur police, seeking help. “She has asked me not to come alone directly as the family has influence within a political party. Police used to talk to that family, and tell us that she will come home the next day or the day after, trying to extend her stay there. Towards the end, she used to say that she will somehow manage to stay there. After that she did not call,” Sudheesh said. He also adds that Vijeesh and the family confined Sunisha, not allowing her out alone. According to the family, on two to three occasions, police complaints were filed, one of which was on August 5.
Meanwhile, audio recordings of Sunisha, revealing details of the torture she had been facing, surfaced in the media. In one of the audio recordings, Sunisha’s husband can be allegedly heard pulling her up when she records the audio. As Sunisha retots saying she will also record visuals of the assault, he asks her to go ahead and that he is not bothered. “I will also record your mother pulling my hair,” Sunisha can be heard saying. Sunisha can further be heard questioning Vijeesh that why he did not intervene when his father talked abusively to her.
Of late, Kerala has seen multiple deaths of young married women. All of the deaths are alleged to be deaths by suicide and all of them had been undergoing severe torture and harassment from their in-laws.
Listen to the audio recordings:
If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organizations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.
State health department's suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)
Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930
Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584
Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222
Maithri: 0484 2540530
Chaithram: 0484 2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.
State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200
SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)
24x7 Helpline: 9820466726
Click here for working helplines across India.