A now viral video of Madhya Pradesh Additional DG Purshottam Sharma beating his wife has drawn a rather strange reaction from the man in question. Even as he was relieved of his official duties, he opined that this was "a family dispute, not a crime" and that that if his nature was abusive, "she should've complained earlier".
"I am neither a violent person nor a criminal. It is unfortunate that I have to go through this," he told ANI. Sharma alleged that that his wife stalked him and had put up cameras in the house. "We've been married for 32 years, in 2008 she had complained against me. But the point is, since 2008 she has been living in my house, enjoying all facilities and travelling abroad on my expenses," he had remarked.
And while he seems to think that he has been wronged greatly, many on Twitter were most definitely not in agreement. Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi for example, was quick to call out this "mindset" that "makes men think that women are ‘their property’ to ill treat, to beat, to do as they please."
"Too many people think domestic violence is “just a dispute between couples”. NO. It is against the law, it is morally repugnant. Many women stay on in abusive relationships because they don’t have a choice. This man who is supposed to uphold the law should be sacked," tweeted journalist and Harvard professor Nidhi Razdan.
"With law-keepers like these, what do we have to fear?" wondered another user.
A few however remained reluctant to disagree with Sharma, citing claims that she had also attacked him. Others still wished for the "law to take its course" without any criticism. The fact however remains that as someone tasked with upholding the law, Sharma's actions do not hold up well under scrutiny. Irrespective of the circumstances that may have led to the viral video, assault of another individual is not something that a police official should be brushing off.
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