NEW DELHI (TrustLaw) – A man in India's central city of Indore has been charged with grievous bodily harm and cruelty for padlocking his wife’s genitals for four years fearing that she would be unfaithful to him, the Indian Express reported on Wednesday.
Mechanic Sohanlal Chouhan, 38, reportedly punctured holes with a needle on either side of his wife Sitabai’s genitals after drugging her in 2008. Over the next four years, Chouhan inserted a small padlock in the holes before leaving for work, keeping the key in his socks until he returned home, said the newspaper.
The case came to light after Sitabai, 35, tried to commit suicide on Monday and was rushed to hospital.
“The nurses confirmed the existence of a small lock. It was only after the husband’s arrest that the lock could be opened,” Chhaganlal, head constable at the local police station in Indore, was quoted as saying.
Chouhan said he had done this because several women in his family had “strayed” in the past.
Gender rights activists say Indian women face a barrage of threats in this largely patriarchal country.
Many of the crimes against women are a result of a deep-rooted mindset that women are inferior and must be restricted to being homemakers and childbearers.
In addition, age-old customs such as payment of hefty dowries at the time of marriage and widely held beliefs linking a female's sexual behaviour to family honour have allowed gender crimes to persist.
Earlier this month, a dentist was reportedly arrested in the southern state of Karnataka after his wife accused him of forcing her to drink his urine because she refused to meet dowry demands.