Lawyer kills Magistrate wife when she refused an abortion!

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When even Magistrates are not safe in their own houses from their own husbands, we need to become more vigilant.

Imagine getting up on Dussehra, the festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and reading this news. According to the reports, Pratibha Gautam, the Judicial Magistrate of Kanpur was found dead under suspicious circumstances on Sunday morning. She was found hanging from the ceiling at her official residence. This led the police to initially believe that it was a suicide. However, the post-mortem report showed brutal torture before she was hanged. Her husband, Manu Abhishek Rajan is the prime suspect and has been arrested.

She was found hanging from the ceiling at her official residence. This led the police to initially believe that it was a suicide. However, the post-mortem report showed brutal torture before she was hanged. Her husband, Manu Abhishek Rajan is the prime suspect and has been arrested.

According to the report, The couple met while studying together and got married in April 2016. She was posted at Kanpur and he practised law at New Delhi. Apparently, Pratibha was 3 and a half months pregnant. They probably had an argument over her pregnancy and she refused to get the foetus aborted. The wounds found on her body agree with this story.

In his earlier statements, her husband tried to contact her but her phone was not reachable. Worried, he went to Kanpur only to find her hanging inside the house. Her parents refuted the story, though, stating that their daughter would not contemplate suicide and something was not right about the whole story.

suicide or murder?

According to the post-mortem report, she was tortured before she died, with slashes on both wrist and injuries to her private parts. Her body shows signs of a struggle. She died because of asphyxia due to strangulation.These injuries may have been in an attempt to get an abortion. The parents lodged an official complaint and after going through the phone conversations, the accused was arrested.

We do not know why or how things escalated to this. What we know is, a Magistrate is dead, the husband is behind bars and I am speechless.

What can a common citizen like me do if even a Magistrate is not safe in her own house from her own husband?

To know more, read on.

Where does the problem lie?

India has a bad track record when it comes to deaths, particularly those where a woman dies at the hands of her husband or her in-laws. It does not matter what the reason is. There are two sad things about the whole affair, though.

  1. Things like this keep on happening
  2. We are no longer shocked if something like this happens.

Here are some of the numbing statistics about India

1# Every two hours, a woman dies in India because of an unsafe abortion

2# In 2012, the official figure of deaths due to bride-burning was 8233.

3# last year, there were 34,600 cases of rape reported in India.

4# 327394 cases of Crime against women were reported in 2015 throughout India. These include Rape, kidnapping, dowry deaths, assault and trafficking to name a few.

Isn't it quite shocking that India reveres its Goddesses and abuses its daughters? But these are just empty words till we DO something about it.

What can we do?

There are a few things we all can do as conscientious citizen of India.

1# Report violence

If you hear or see any kind of violence in the form of domestic abuse, please report it to the authorities. There are a number of NGOs that can help women and children in such situations.

report violence

2# Extend support

If you personally know a person who is a victim of domestic violence, help her get her voice back. It is entirely our business if someone we know is getting abused daily.

3# Stop treating crime as a taboo

Openly discuss things like domestic violence and rape in social gatherings. Agreed it would make a few people uncomfortable, but who knows, it might just give a woman some courage to call her husband out!

4# Stop suffering in silence

Lastly, and most importantly, if you are the victim of domestic violence, seek help. It is not good for the children to see you getting beaten up. Who knows, they might be next. What would you do then?

Discuss this with your parents and friends. If interventions won't help, you have the option to stay away from the abuse. Please don't suffer in silence.

Back to the case

The investigation is ongoing, and more things will come to light. Personally, I hope this case serves as an example that no one should take their safety for granted.

Do let us know how you think such a situation should be handled in the comments below.

(Image courtesy: Youtube)

Written by

Anay Bhalerao

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