MP Cop Terms Assaulting His Wife a “Family Dispute”. This is How India Justifies Domestic Violence

Gender

MP Cop Terms Assaulting His Wife a “Family Dispute”. This is How India Justifies Domestic Violence

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Incidents of domestic violence have been on the rise in our country following the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic. Even though we didn’t really need more proof of this fact, a video doing the rounds of social media platforms on Monday morning, indicates exactly that. In the shocking clip, a senior IPS officer Purushottam Sharma is seen beating and abusing his wife at their residence.

Officer Additional Director General Purushottam Sharma is seen in the video pulling his wife’s hair and throwing her on the ground in a fit of rage, after she apparently caught him having an extra-marital affair.

The video was shared by the officer’s son, who lodged a complaint against his father. Sharma was relieved of his duties soon after.

However, the most shocking part of this incident seems to be the officer’s reaction to the viral video. Unfazed by the vocal criticism and backlash on social media platforms, Sharma appeared to later defend his actions in an interview.

“If my nature is abusive she should’ve complained earlier. This is a family dispute, not a crime. I am neither a violent person nor a criminal,” the officer told ANI, before adding that his wife had been living in his house, “enjoying all facilities”, and “travelling abroad on his expenses”, despite having once filed a case against him in 2008.

The officer’s entitled reaction led to outrage on social media, with prominent personalities leading the charge. Some, such as Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi, pointed out that his reaction was more proof that men think it’s okay to treat women like “their property”. Several others questioned why no legal action had been initiated yet.

The National Commission of Women has meanwhile written to the state’s Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan demanding that the officer be taken to task. This is the same officer, after all, who was earlier caught in a “honey trap” scandal when he was the Special DG of the Cyber Cell and Special Task Force.

Sharma’s reaction to the video has made it clear once again that domestic violence is both a serious issue in the country and one that isn’t taken seriously enough. As the outrage continues, hopefully stricter action will be taken against the officer soon.

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