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Man sent to live with tortured wife’s family

It does not take words to articulate anguish and win “unconventional” legal redress.

Kajori Mitra, deaf and mute, appealed before a division bench of Calcutta High Court on Friday to “save her” from the torture at her in-laws.

After Kajori broke down in court and gesticulated wildly that she refused to return to her husband’s home, Justices A.K. Talukdar and A.K. Bishi decided to turn the tables on Debasis Mitra. The husband was ordered to spend a week with Kajori’s family, to spare the wife the “torture” and give the husband a taste of living with his in-laws.

Debasis and Kajori were married five years ago, following which she moved into his Behala residence, where they lived with his parents (Jyotindranath and Nandini Mitra), brother and sister-in-law. Her persecution, apparently, started from the beginning and continued even after she became a mother a year later.

Unable to bear the regular “beatings”, Kajori fled to her father’s place, in Serampore, with daughter Anindita, this January. She also lodged a case with the police, alleging torture — including an attempt to strangle her — by her in-laws.

The case first came up for hearing on Monday, when Kajori’s in-laws filed applications for anticipatory bail. The judges, however, did not go into the merit of their pleas. Instead, they asked all those involved in the case to attend the hearing on Friday. Kajori, accompanied by her father, appeared in court, as did Debasis, with his parents.

The judges first asked Kajori to return to her in-laws’. “You don’t worry, we are there to ensure that you don’t face any more violence,” they assured her. But there was no cajoling or convincing Kajori. Narrating her tale of torture — through her father, and counsel Shekhar Basu — she told the judges that she would not go back to Behala.

As she broke down, the judges decided to send Debasis to his in-laws for a week. “Come back to court next Friday,” they added. Additional public prosecutor Asimesh Goswami welcomed the order, explaining that only such “unconventional” methods could possibly curb marital violence.

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