A week after lockdown, a WhatsApp message went around saying that while the number of theft cases had gone down to zero per cent and crime too was reduced to zero per cent, the incidents of domestic violence had gone up by 87 per cent. This was a joke but nobody realized that it will come true in Uttar Pradesh where police is grappling to resolve clashes between married couples.
Suresh Mukund, a police officer says that almost all the police stations are now getting complaints about domestic violence where husbands are even beating up wife for not putting garlic in the daal. The wife dialed 112 and police was forced to intervene.
“Earlier too we used to get reports about domestic violence but it has gone up by almost 69 per cent. Many incidents are trivial,” Mukund said.
But there are some serious cases too.
In Azamgarh, one Irshad, resident of village Khandwari, a hamlet of Saraimeer, used to work as tempo drover. During lockdown he is staying at home where he suspected his wife of having an affair with a cousin. On Sunday night, the couple had a heated argument over the issue and the verbal duel took a turn for the worse when Irshad stabbed her to death.
In Varanasi, Nitin Kumar (30) of Jaitpur used to work as a trolley driver but due to the lockdown he was forced to stay at home following which he lost his source of income. As he failed to meet the expenses his wife, Rinki, with whom he was married a year back, she left home and went to live with her parents. Depressed, Nitin committed suicide by hanging. He left a suicide note blaming the lockdown for taking such step.
In Fatehpur, a 19-year-old youth, pursuing an ITI course, and a 17-year-old girl studying in class 11 in Rajkiya Inter College, were found hanging from a tree in Malwa police station area. The police said that due to the lockdown all institutions were closed indefinitely and hence they were unable to meet as a result of which they became depressed and ended their lives.
Dr S K Pandey, of Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow said that continuously staying put because of Coronavirus pandemic in home can be tedious. At times, it could lead to depression and anxiety.
“A study carried out by researchers from the University of Sheffield and Ulster University, shows rise in rates of anxiety and depression. The increase was quite marked when announcement of lockdown was made in Britain. Similar could be the case in India too where anxiety increased after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lock down. This resulted in panic buying,” Dr Pandey said.
As people are almost locked in their homes, small fights are common. But with people who lose their income, it could lead to depression and domestic fights, he said.