Indian man arrested for piercing and padlocking wife’s vagina (India)

Posted on July 24, 2012

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Source: Womens views on news

Laura Bridgestock
WVoN co-editor

Last week, horrific reports emerged from India of a man  arrested on suspicion of having pierced his wife’s vagina in order to padlock it shut.

The situation came to light when the woman, identified as Sitabai Chouhan, was taken to hospital. She had apparently attempted suicide by taking poison.

While treating her, staff at Maharaja Yashwant Rao Hospital, Indore, discovered the homemade ‘chastity belt’, and contacted police.

When the husband, named as Sohan Lal Chouhan, was arrested, the key was discovered in his sock.

It is believed that he had attached the padlock to his wife four years previously by drugging her and then using a needle to make holes in her genitals.

He reportedly told police he had committed the brutality in order to prevent his wife from having extramarital sex while he was at work.

The incident is shocking, but not isolated.

In 2007 the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) reported that many women in the state of Rajasthan were forced to wear chastity belts.

The organisation had even come across a website advertising ‘designer’ chastity belts, made from expensive metals such as gold and silver.

As AHRC pointed out at the time, chastity belts are just one aspect of the brutality many women in India face.

In this instance, it’s reported that Sitabai had been married at just 16. Police said her husband was addicted to alcohol and marijuana, and had kept her locked in the house.

There are also reports that shortly before Sitabai took the poison, her husband had attempted to rape the oldest of their five children. However, the police reports have not mentioned this.

In a recent survey of gender specialists, India was voted the worst place in the world to be a woman, due to the continuing prevalence of child marriage, abuse and exploitation, and a general tendency to see women as inferior and of less value than men (WVoN story).

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