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Tortured by husband, woman stages dharna before Odisha CM’s house

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev

Bhubaneswar, Mar 12:

For the second time in the last  one month, a harassed 30-year-old woman staged a dharna in front of the Naveen Nivas here seeking justice from the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday.

woman on dharna

The victim, Swarnalata Sabat, said she will end her life in front of the Chief Minister’s residence if she was not given justice by the state government.

Her allegation was that she was subjected to mental, physical and sexual torture by her husband and in-laws.

Swarnalata, a resident of Gosaninuagaon in Berhampur in Ganjam district, said, “I got married to Pradeep Sahu on July 5, 2011. Rabindra Sahu, along with my uncle, aunty and their sons, persuaded my parents to agree to the marriage by giving false information on the age, qualification and work of my husband.”

“They always planned to kill me and wanted to put me in trouble. After marriage, I realised that Pradeep is impotent. He constantly subjected me tn mental, physical, sexual torture and his in-laws inflicted unbearable pain on me, ” said Swarnalata, a post-graduate in English Literature from Khalikote Autonomous College, Berhampur.

Describing the odd dealings of her husband and in-laws, the victim alleged that they used to serve her aphrodisiac drug with meal and force her to eat. “My husband used to treat me like animal and indulged in unnatural sex with anything, which is unbearable. Many a time, he used to bind my two legs, hand and put liquid into my private parts by dropper and syringe and forced me to watch blue films,” she added.

“Every time I opened my mouth when the pain became unbearable, my husband used to threaten me that he will cut my genital,” the victim, now pursuing her LLB degree at Lingaraj Law College in Berhampur said. I want to equip myself to fight him with a Law degree. I am a woman and know how to fight the odds until my death comes.”

In the month of November, 2011, the woman had lodged a written complaint at the Mahila police station in Berhampur against Pradeep and others but in vain.

Swarnalata alleged that instead of acting on her complaint, Mahila police tortured her by conducting a medical examination where doctors again gave more sexual torture to her injured body parts. The doctors and the IIC of f Mahila police station forced her to withdraw the case, she claimed.

“Then I reported the matter to district administration officials like SP, Collector, besides Odisha DGP, NHRC, State Commission for Women, principal secretary, Home and to chief minister’s grievance cell about my sufferings but in vain,” she said.

Thereafter I filed a complaint in the SDJM Court in Berhampur on March 4 last year to which the learned magistrate issued a NBW against the accused and fixed 27 July asking the Police officer to produce Pradeep in court. But they did not obey the court order. In the meantime, my husband managed to get an interim bail from Odisha High Court.

“Earlier in January 15 this year I had come to Naveen Nivas for justice, but returned with an assurance from the concerned officials that action will be taken against the responsible. But no steps were taken by the officials which forced me to stage dharana today,” Swarnalata said, adding, “I want police protection while going to court for my case and college for my study and action against my husband and others. If the chief minister does not listen to me, I will continue my protest till my death.”