Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Wednesday raised the issue of domestic violence abroad, days after an Indian woman named Mandeep Kaur residing in New York committed suicide due to alleged continued domestic violence and abuse by her husband.
Chaturvedi wrote to the Ministers of External Affairs and Women & Child Development.
“This incident highlights the absence of proper safeguards to protect Indian women based in foreign jurisdictions from such horrifying incidents, thereby leaving them isolated, away from their families, with little or no support from the Indian government,” she said.
According to data mentioned in her letter between 2017 to 2019, Indian missions and posts received more than 3,955 complaints from married women with Indian citizenship of domestic violence, harassment, and other matrimonial disputes. However, these figures are only representative of the cases directly reported to the Indian government.
She said there is an urgent need for the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development to develop a sound oversight mechanism to not only provide necessary counselling, rehabilitation, and protection to the women in distress abroad but also pro-actively prevent and handle such offences.
“Further, a legal framework for the law enforcement agencies to effectively exercise their jurisdiction under the Indian Penal Code on its citizens residing abroad against such cases of heinous nature is also required.”
She cautioned that the children born in such marriages are left without adequate care and protection in a foreign state after the death of their mother and imprisonment of the father and there is an urgent need for India to set up an institutional mechanism for it.
Mandeep Kaur committed suicide after an abusive marriage and her video went viral in which she accused her in-laws of forcing her to take the extreme step.