Family, neighbors 'torture' woman for 16 years

Published On: August 24, 2016 01:00 AM NPT By: Ritesh Tripathi

BIRGUNJ, Aug 24: Hundreds of bruises and scars on her body are easily noticeable. Those were the imprints left by abuse and violence she endured from her family members and neighbors over the past sixteen years.

The story of Urmila Devi, 40, of Bishrampur, Parsa unravels the inhuman side of human civilization. Since she lost her husband around 16 years ago, she recently recalled, not a single day went by without her suffering violence at the hands of her family members and neighbors.

She gathered the courage to speak out against the violence and reached the district headquarters Birgunj on Sunday. She seemed to be scared at the time of filing a report at the District Police Office (DPO).

"I had gotten used to the torture from my in-laws," she said. “But the situation became dreadful when even the neighbors started beating me for no reason.”

Only last week, she was beaten mercilessly by her neighbors Banti Sah Kalwar and her sons Arun Kumar Sah and Sandip Kumar Sah.

"Other neighbors gathered around while I was being beaten," she said, “But no one tried to stop them.”

She decided to register a complaint at the DPO on Tuesday after much pressure from district-based rights organizations and women rights activists.

“We have come to know that she has suffered domestic violence since the death of her husband around 16 years ago,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Hobendra Bogati, adding that the police have already started the investigation into the case.

She could not report to police during Maoist insurgency period as the police post had been removed from the village. Some students from the village had reported to the police office after witnessing the violence against her. The police came to the village but did not take any action against the accused, she shared. “Instead, the police urged me to seek a compromise with the family members.”

Her neighbors have been warning her against lodging a complaint with the police. A group of villagers had appeared at the police office to put pressure not to initiate investigation against Urmila Devi's family and neighbors involved in beating her.

During a press meet organized on Tuesday, she seemed frightened and broke into tears several times. “I want justice,” she said.

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