Agartala: A woman from Tripura has approached the state women's commission against her husband for installing CCTVs in the house, including the bedroom. Husband had said that the act was done in “self-defence”.
The couple, Ratna Podder and Chandan Kanti Dhar, from West Tripura district, got separated three years ago.
Ratna also claimed that soon after their marriage, in-laws started to demand dowry.
“His family didn’t demand any dowry at the time of marriage. But shortly after we were married, they (in-laws) started torturing me for dowry. My mother-in-law, brother-in-law, even neighbours started harassing me mentally and physically,” Podder told Indian Express.
The woman said that her family sold a piece of ancestral land to pay Rs 2 lakh for dowry, but the torture continued. Moreover, Ratna suspected an extra-marital relationship between her husband and one of his relatives.
The installation of CCTV camera worsened their falling marriage.
“There were cameras everywhere – the main entrance, corridor, my mother in-law’s room, our bedroom and another room in the house.
The monitor is placed in my mother in-law’s room. It is a serious infringement of personal space. I am a woman and having a CCTV camera recording everything, even in private space, is very humiliating,” she told Indian Express.
Ratna filled numerous pleas but they failed to yield any result. Podder, then
Tripura Commission for Women (TCW) this month. A formal complaint was lodged with charges of domestic violence, dowry torture and adultery among other issues against her husband on July 2.
However, Dhar has dismissed all charges against him.
“I am innocent. I haven’t taken dowry, neither do I have any illicit relationship with anyone. I find it humiliating to discuss this but the entire complaint was made to take revenge from us since my wife threatened us with prison term while leaving my house.”
To substantiate his claim, Dhar said his wife suspicious and ill-behaved with him, his mother and other family members.
TCW chairperson Barnali Goswami called it a “rare and serious” crime. “How can a woman live under constant surveillance in her most private quarters? We have heard both parties on Wednesday and gave them 45 days to reconsider. Meanwhile, Dhar has been asked to pay Rs 3,000 per month as maintenance to his wife”.
Installing CCTV is legal in India. However, if cameras are used for voyeurism, it is a criminal offence under Section 354 C of IPC....