Delhi / Bijnor:
The suicide of an Indian woman in New York – citing years of abuse by her husband “for giving birth only to girls” – has sparked an angry conversation about stigma in the community. Mandeep Kaur, 30, said in a widely circulated video: “I’ve endured it all, hoping one day he’ll fix his path.
“It’s been eight years, now I can’t stand being beaten every day,” the mother of two daughters – aged 6 and 4 – said repeatedly in tears.
Speaking in Punjabi, she accused her husband and husband of “forced” her to die by committing suicide. “Dad, I’m dying, please forgive me.”
She died on August 4, her family in Uttar Pradesh told NDTV. Her father, Jaspal Singh, was file a case of aiding suicide at the UP regional police station against her husband, who is in the US, and his parents, who live in India. “We want our nieces to be safe right now. They are still with their father,” he added.
Indian Consulate in New York has promise to help.
Hailing from different villages in UP’s Bijnor, the marriage of Mandeep Kaur and Ranjodhbeer Singh Sandhu was arranged in 2015. Her family said he worked in the US as a truck driver, and she joined him three years later. There has been no response from the husband or his family – some of whom live in India – and there is no word of specific legal action against them.
Kaur’s family in Bijnor said they had hoped the abuse would end one day. “We intervened once, and even went to the police in New York with a video of him hitting her,” said the father, “But she told us to back off and make peace with her.” She said she was worried about her future, her daughters.” The family has now appealed to the authorities to bring her body back to India.
Several videos of her apparently abusive husband went viral, including one in which the daughters were heard shouting, “Dad, na maaro mamma nu (Dad, don’t hit mom). “In another scene, captured by the indoor security camera, the little girl tries to stand up for herself – “I can’t take it anymore” – but he beats her until she exhales apologetically. NDTV is unable to confirm. independently substantiated these videos, some of which she sent to her family.
In the video detailing the abuse, she talks about how her family reacted after he “detained me in a van for five days”. “My father filed a police lawsuit against him. But he begged and asked me to save him… and I did.”
She also alleges extramarital affairs, saying that his family “didn’t say anything… and facilitated violence”.
The video was shared on Instagram by The Kaur Movement, an organization that works for victims of sexual abuse and their families with a focus on the Sikh community. The clip was also shared on Twitter on Facebook by some who commented on the “family and social structure”.
There are conflicting issues in our family and social structures that we easily overlook or refuse to accept. #DometicViolence against women is one such serious issue. The suicide of Mandeep Kaur, a Punjabi NRI woman is a wake-up call to accept the problem and correct it accordingly. pic.twitter.com/F8WpkiLCZY
– Gurshamshir Singh (@gurshamshir) August 5, 2022
Bigger questions emerged among angry reactions online and offline.
Justice protesters gathered outside her home in Richmond Hill, New York. Several activists from Punjab also came and met her family in Bijnor.
On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, people from several countries – especially the Sikh and Punjabi communities – used the hashtag #JusticeForMandeep. Many articles say that society has failed her. Some, in turn, released videos criticizing those who “make it bigger than it is”.
Rajya Sabha member from Punjab, Raghav Chadha of AAP, said in a tweet: “I have sought time from Minister [for] Foreign affairs to seek his timely intervention. “
The tragic news of Mandeep Kaur’s suicide in NY due to domestic violence and abuse has left us all devastated. My prayers go to the grieving family & her children & I have sought time from the Secretary of State to seek his timely intervention to ensure justice.#MandeepKaurpic.twitter.com/gqfeNgE8Qg
– Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) August 6, 2022
The UK-based Sikh Women’s Aid NGO, which also works against abuse in the Sikh and Punjabi communities, released a statement expressing grief: “She describes a life lived abused, despised, and violent.”