“I can’t take daily shots now”

Mandeep Kaur, 30, in a video detailing her abuse. It came out and went viral after his death.


The suicide of an ethnic Indian woman in New York – citing years of abuse by her husband ‘for only giving birth to girls’ – has sparked angry conversation about stigma in the community. “I tolerated it all, hoping he will mend his ways one day,” Mandeep Kaur, 30, says in a video that has gone viral.

“It’s been eight years, I can’t get beaten every day anymore,” the mother of two girls, aged 6 and 4, said repeatedly, crying.

Speaking in Punjabi, she accuses her husband and in-laws of having “forced” her to commit suicide. “Daddy, I’m going to die, please forgive me.”

She died on August 4, her family in Uttar Pradesh told NDTV. Her father, Jaspal Singh, filed an accessory to suicide complaint at the UP police station against the husband, who is in the United States, and her parents, who live in India. “We want our granddaughters to be safe now. They are still with their father,” he added.

The Indian consulate in New York has help promised.

Hailing from different villages of Bijnor, Mandeep Kaur and Ranjodhbeer Singh Sandhu, Mandeep Kaur and Ranjodhbeer Singh Sandhu’s marriage was arranged in 2015. His family said he was already working in the United States as a truck driver, and she l joined three years later. There has been no reaction yet from the husband or his family – some of whom live in India – and no information on any specific legal action against them.

Kaur’s family in Bijnor said they hope the abuse will one day stop. “We intervened once, and even went to the police in New York with a video of him beating her,” the father said. “But she told us to take a step back and reconcile with him. She said she was worried about her daughters’ future.” Now the family has requested government assistance to bring his body back to India.

Several videos of the husband apparently abusing her have gone viral, including one in which the girls are heard shouting, “Dad, na maaro mom naked (Daddy, don’t hit mommy).” In another, recorded in a security camera inside the house, she tries to defend herself – “I refuse to take it anymore” – but he beats her until what she gasps apologies NDTV could not independently verify these videos, some of which were sent to her family.

In the video detailing the abuse, she says her family reacted after he “held me captive in a truck for five days”. “My father filed a complaint against him with the police. But he begged and asked me to save him… and I did.

She also alleges extramarital affairs, saying her family “didn’t say anything…in turn allowing the violence.”

The video was shared on Instagram by The Kaur Movement, an organization that works for victims of sexual and domestic abuse, focusing on the Sikh community. Clips were also shared on Twitter on Facebook by several people, who commented on “the family and social structure”.

The broader questions are among the online and offline angry reactions.

Protesters demanding justice gathered outside his home in Richmond Hill in New York. Punjab activists also went to meet his family in Bijnor.

On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, people from several countries – Sikh and Punjabi diaspora, in particular – used the hashtag #JusticeForMandeep. Many messages said that the company had let her down. Some people, in turn, have posted videos criticizing those who “make him look bigger than he is”.

Raghav Chadha, a member of Rajya Sabha from Punjab, said in a tweet: “I have asked Minister for time [for] of External Affairs to solicit his timely intervention.”

British NGO Sikh Women’s Aid, which also works against abuse within the Sikh and Punjabi communities, issued a statement expressing its grief: “She describes a life of abuse, belittlement and violence.”

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