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concern or threat - unanswerable

MADURAI: A 40-year-old woman who murdered her husband was let off by the police who invoked a section in the Indian Penal Code that offers the right of self-defence to an individual.

The woman had assaulted her husband with a cricket bat when he attempted to molest their daughter. Police said the woman, Usharani (40), of Tirupalai, a mother of four children, had a dispute with her husband Jothi Basu for the past several years. Usharani had also approached the police with complaints against her husband and as recently as February 8, she had lodged a police complaint against Basu. Every time a complaint was made, Basu would apologise and promise not to harass his wife.

Even as the couple had parted ways in 2007 after obtaining a divorce, Basu managed to convince Usharani to live together last year. But again, disputes arose between the couple as Basu started harassing her as well as other family members. Usharani once again decided to stay away from her husband and was living with her mother and children at Tirupalai.

Last Thursday, Basu came to the house and assaulted Usharani. He then attempted to molest his 19-year- old daughter. When Usharani intervened and attempted to shove him away in a bid to protect her daughter, Basu went on a rage and picked up a cricket bat and assaulted her. Left with no other option Usharani then snatched away the bat and hit back at Basu. The man, who suffered a fatal blow, collapsed on the floor and died on the spot.

Subsequently, police conducted a probe wherein she admitted to have murdered her husband and said she had committed the offence only as a means to defend herself and the modesty of her daughter. Madurai SP Asra Garg, who found that the woman had acted only in self-defence, invoked section 100 of the IPC that offers succour under the provision of "right of private defence of the body extending to cause death."


Few days ago one Ms. Usha Rani of Madurai was released Under IPC section 100 b S.P Mr. Asra Garg. A pettion was filled by her father-in-law stating that the above murder was a planned incident and Ms. Usharani had illicit affairs with many men and that the same affairs were the reason behind this murder.

On receiving the petition Ex-Collector Mr. Sagyam has written a letter recommending the case to be forwarded to CB-CID. He also points out to the fact that Usha Rani had illicit affairs and insists on Probing into it with that connection.

Following this few questions were put up by usha rani’s daughter Ms. Raja Priya, They tried to hold a press meet and release it in Madurai and faced with many obstacles. So they sought help in Chennai to hold a press meet. with reference to that a press meet was organized by M.A.S.E.S on 30th august but it could not be carried as scheduled because there were 'multiple' points of view and debate generated amongst a 'section' of people against this initative and this caused obstacle to us.

It was pointed out that the daughter would be faced with hostile situation with 'troubling' questions about the modesty of her mother etc and in the good of the girl it was 'recommended' that it is better to hold the press meet post a fact finding initiative. MASES had also thought of fact finding, but the daughter had plead for an opportunity to speak against the allegations in Mr. Sagyam's report. Hence with the consent of the team involved in Organizing the press meet we went ahead organizing press meet. Later some unforeseen circumstances led to cancelling the meet. This situation does not fail to raise doubts on whether the 'influences' were 'concern' or 'threat'.

However, Rajapriya was going there to consult lawyer and we managed to get the family speak for themselves addressing media at the HighCourt. Later knowing that there were some confusions few reporters had also spoken to me asking what was happening and I did not sense any hostility in it. Then we got an opportunity to speak in NDTV Hindu and that went on air.

Judgement is awaited in this case in few days. Post to that the need for fact finding will be evaluated.

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This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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Beverly Rose's picture


Thank you for sharing this incredible story, yet another example of what women are subjected to worldwide. I read with interest the articles referenced and I wonder what the final outcome was.

What, if anything,happens when a man abuses his wife? In America, there are laws against abuse and if found guilty, the abuser can be sentenced to jail, fines, or ordered to receive services, depending on the level of abuse. But of course it is rare that the punishment comes anywhere close to what the woman experienced physically,mentally, or emotionally. And most of the time he is not arrested.....

Are there agencies to help the survivors, as we have here? One of the articles said the young son stopped playing cricket. The children are adversely affected by the violence as well.

Please continue sharing with the World Pulse community. We can learn from each other - not only of the tragedies but also how we become empowered.


kotravai's picture


sure will do that. Thanks for sharing the news from your side.

M.A.S.E.S - Movement Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexism

Thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear that this is happening to this lady.These are the stories which must be told for all people to see. It is my belief that the more attention these situation receive the better it is for the victim. However, I believe that if the international community does not act to support and defend victims then the cycle will continue. Thank you for taking the first step to change which is identifying the problem.


Kadeen Dennie
Pulsewire Magazine

kotravai's picture


Thanks Kadeen.

M.A.S.E.S - Movement Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexism

sn's picture

Concern or Threat

You have shared a nice story with us. I think women are subjected to such harrasment in India. Rarely do police take such crimes seriously and take action. This is something we see everywhere. This kind of stories should be reported in media so that authorities must take action when the complaint is made. ahN

Shuriah Niazi
EVAW listerner

Kadeen's picture

Violence Against Women


I know this may not be any solution to the problem, however the lack of interest by police and authorities to take harassment and assault against women is not only in India. I see this happen very often in my home country Jamaica.

Kadeen Dennie
Pulsewire Magazine

lydiagcallano's picture


Thanks for sharing this story with us, My friend! I was happy in the first half of the story that Usha Rani was released on the ground of self-defense but only to be saddened by the news that her husband's family retaliated by filing a case against her! Now she is awaiting judgment and the incident happened just some days ago. I that how fast the Indian judicial system works? Or it is only fast when women are the the accused because women are considered highly dispensable?

I am also wondering what will happen to Usha Rani if she is found guilty? Will she be imprisoned or executed? What will happen to her children? Does MASES have a program to support them? I wonder as I empathize with the victims - Usha, her kids and her relatives as well.

Ma. Lydia G. Callano
Iloilo, Philippines
+63 33 3158137 or 5138830

kotravai's picture


Hi Lydia,

It may not be right to generalize the Indian judicial system. Recently in a similar case - a woman attacked her husband who tries to rape her own daughter at the point of a knife, the man dies. Hon. Justice Nagamuthu had given a historical judgement quoting the right to self-defence and released her. I will share the judgement shortly.

MASES had provided support to Usha Rani to speak for herself following the accusations made about her modesty by her Husband' father. MASES is always willing to support her whenever the need arises.


M.A.S.E.S - Movement Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexism

kotravai's picture

similar case

M.A.S.E.S - Movement Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexism

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