How Ambika succumbed to domestic violence

Kathmandu, June 1:

Relatives of Ambika Dhamala, who was allegedly burnt to death by her husband Murari Dhamala, today revealed how she became the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband.

According to Ambika’s younger brother Dhanendra Thapa, Murari, 45, had been torturing his 41-year-old wife for more than a decade. Though Murari had been living with his second wife for seven years, he used to visit Ambika at Chabahil thrice a week and abuse her physically and verbally.

At a programme organised by a group of organisations, Dhanendra narrated her sister’s story which she managed to tell relatives about the brutality perpetrated by Murari on May 29.

Ambika, who was running a tailoring shop at Sukedhara, got a call from Murari that day asking her to return home. He was meeting her after five days. He arrived at 9.30 pm in an inebriated state accompanied by another person.

After locking up his younger daughter, he asked Ambika to serve dinner. Soon after she ignited the gas stove, he poured kerosene from behind and set her ablaze.

He prevented her bid to douse flames by pouring water on her body. When she was screaming for help, Murari just sat quietly watching her. However, the younger daughter came out of the locked room from the window and poured a bucket of water on the burning body of her mother. After a while, with the help of neighbours she was rushed to Om Hospital first, then to Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital and finally to Bir Hospital. Murari is an accountant at Revenue Office, Kathmandu. A complaint has been lodged against him and legal process is underway.

At the same programme, constituent assembly member Sapna Malla Pradhan said the state mechanism was still providing shelter to the criminals of domestic violence. “Society is blaming daughters for making domestic issues public and going against fathers.”

She added that there is no law related to domestic violence till date, even the police administration is not exercising the legal provisions to book the guilty.