It is a video that pulled at Tamil Nadu's heartstrings. A distraught woman with visible wounds on her face can be seen breaking down on camera. She alleges domestic abuse at the hands of her husband and begs the people watching the video to rescue her and her child. This heartbreaking request surfaced on the internet on February 27 and has since been doing the rounds on social media.
But when TNM tracked down the origins of the video to Vellore district, it was too late. The woman, who has now been identified as Sathya had killed herself two days before her desperate plea went viral. The 29-year-old, who resides in Natrampalli, had hanged herself, unable to bear the alleged domestic abuse.
Her 36-year-old husband, Sampath has been arrested by the police and booked under section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal code. This after Sathya's mother filed a complaint following her death.
The Natrampalli police told TNM that the video that Sathya sent was actually shot a month before it surfaced. It was sent to a relative as a plea for help, following which the families of the couple intervened and counselled them. Despite this, however, Sampath allegedly continued to abuse his wife.
In the video, that was taken in an open plot near the house, Sathya can be heard saying, "For god’s sake, anybody who is watching this video please help me. People who are watching this video will have a sister or daughter like me. My husband is really torturing me. Neither my father nor my siblings are there to help me. All I have is my mum. My father died when I was a baby and my mother struggled a lot to raise me. I trusted him and came here. But he has locked me up in a room without food or whatever. He doesn’t let me sleep peacefully and he has been torturing me like this. I have gove many times to the police station. Whenever I go they just console me and send me back. If I go away on my own, he is threatening to kill me. He is spreading bad rumours about me and tarnishing my reputation. If I leave from here I want to leave with a good name. Somebody please help me. My house is in a village called Jayanthipuram, near Naatrampalli. For god’s sake, somebody please come and rescue me.”
Going on to list her phone number, Sathya then says, “I have no one to help me. My son and I are experiencing hell, everyday we stay here. There are no days when we are not beaten up. No days where we are not tortured. He uses such abusive language. Behaves in a horrible way. He has never considered me to be a woman for even one day. Everyday he threatens to kill me. Somebody please help me after watching this. I want to live. I don’t want to live for myself. I want to live for my son. Somebody please help me live. Just rescue me from this place somehow."
The police, however, deny that Sathya had approached them and instead claim, "It seems to have been some regular fight between husband and wife. It is natural for all this to happen. The husband admitted to abusing her during the inquiry. But there were no wounds on her body when found dead. Infact he claims, he hadn't gone home in two days."
Sathya's mother who has blamed her son-in-law for the death, however, was not reachable.