Forty-four-year old Tandrali Pathak has filed a criminal complaint against her husband of 20 years, accusing him of physical assault and threatening her life, among other charges. While thousands of such cases are filed in the country, this one is significant — it is against the Advocate General of Mizoram, Prabananda Pathak (55).
Prabananda has termed the allegations “baseless and mala fide”.
“Why these allegations after 20 years of a cordial married life?” he told HT over the phone from Guwahati. “My wife wants to settle in Mumbai and hence she is making up these allegations.”
If his wife proved even one allegation against him in court, he was “ready for a public hanging”, he added. “I am the Advocate General of Mizoram and formerly of Assam. Am I mad to act in this way? I am a religious person and have a very good reputation; that’s why I have been entrusted with such an important post,” he said.
Tandrali and her daughters Juhi (18) and Lahi (8) came from Assam last year to her sister in Kharghar. She filed a complaint against her husband with the Kalamboli police in July, also accusing him of dowry harassment and extra marital affairs.
The complaint was forwarded to the Palton Baazar police in Guwahati, Assam. While she now awaits filing of the chargesheet, Prabananda has taken anticipatory bail.
Tandrali, who has filed for divorce, said the harassment started from the wedding night, on April 20, 1987 . “I have sustained several serious physical injuries over the years. Most times I couldn’t even take medical treatment out of fear,” she said. “He even kicked me in my stomach when I was pregnant with my younger daughter. She was born prematurely.”
She even left him twice, she added, but he “sweet talked me back to the house and then the assaults began again”. Prabananda was “an alcoholic and womaniser and needs psychiatric help”, Tandrali said.
She finally left her husband when he started targeting his daughters and threatened her with a gun, she said. “I was scared for my daughters’ lives. I want the law to ensure he does not go unpunished, though he is a powerful man.”