The daughter-in-law of a retired Hyderabad High Court judge has released a video purportedly showing her being beaten up by the judge and his family.
Sindhu Sharma, 31, released the CCTV footage just days before the hearing of a case of domestic violence and dowry extraction she filed against her husband and in-laws.
The footage allegedly shows retired judge Nooty Ramamohana Rao, along with his wife and son, beating up his daughter-in-law. The video, purportedly of the living room of Rao's residence, shows Sharma being dragged on to the floor and beaten up while two toddlers try to hold on to their mother.
Rao, his wife Durga Jayalakshmi and son Nooty Vasishta are reportedly seen restraining and hitting Sharma, who repeatedly tries to leave.
"My husband used to assault me frequently and make demands for dowry. But like in other abusive marriages, I would bear the violence. That night, my in-laws, kids and my husband had gone for a movie. They came back in the night and my husband came to the room upstairs where I was sleeping and started assaulting me, saying he wasn't getting promoted in his job because of me," Sharma told The News Minute.
Sindhu alleged that her in-laws, who came into the room hearing the commotion, started assaulting her instead of helping her. Later, when she had to be rushed to the hospital, her in-laws made out as if Sharma was mentally ill and had harmed herself, she claimed. Sharma added that her in-laws were only concerned about her telling anyone what occurred.
Deccan Chronicle reported that another video doing the rounds on social media which shows Sharma being "dragged out of the house, and pushed into one of the two cars waiting outside."
As per the report, Sharma claimed she was taken to Apollo Hospital that night and she managed to go to her parents' home from there. According to News18, Sharma claimed her in-laws sent her to the hospital as they wanted to get her sedated, however, the doctors at the private hospital refused to do so and helped her get in touch with her parents.
Sharma later protested in front of Rao's residence, demanding that her girls, aged about four and two, be handed over. A habeas corpus petition helped her gain custody of her younger daughter, while the elder one was handed over to her only later with the intervention of the child welfare department, as per reports.
Meanwhile, NDTV quoted sources close to the Rao family, who claimed the video only shows their efforts at restraining Sharma so that she does not harm herself or the children. In a written affidavit to the court, Rao countered Sharma's claim, stating on the night of the altercation, Sharma attempted to kill herself for the second time in six weeks, which is why they pulled and tried to restrain her.
The report quoted sources close to the family who said Sharma was deliberately screaming for help while hiding a bottle of pesticide or poison in her dress.
"She has made serious allegations of dowry harassment and cruelty. Is there a single proof of it or of torture? She made unreasonable demands and wanted us to divide our property and hand it over to her. If things were so bad, why does she still want to live with my son? If we go public and say how she behaved and everything she did, it just becomes an ugly media trial," sources close to the family told NDTV.