Women not just in India but all over the world are treated as the secondary gender, we are not given equal rights, we are oppressed by the men, and we have to deal with the narrow mentality of our patriarchal society every second of our life.
Yet, we deal with it! We deal with all that and much more that most people wouldn't even come to know as we do not show even half of the pain and suffering that we go through in our lives.
We keep going, we keep struggling, but we never ever stop. But what happens after that? Our voices that aspire to cut through the patriarchy and transfer sense into the minds of people are muffled. Those of us who garner the courage to speak up are hushed, silenced, and even killed.
Today I'll tell you the real-life story of Aanchal Kohli, a beautiful young girl from Dehradun.
Aanchal Kohli Pandhi was a positive, adamant, and strong-willed woman from Dehradun. She was married to Rahul Pandhi, owner of Himachal Times (a newspaper). It is said that Rahul used to treat her like an animal and threatened her. But even though he mistreated her, Aanchal would never let her family say anything about him in public.
Aanchal had just started her new store and everything was going pretty well when on 14th February 2017, Aanchal's family were told that she had committed suicide and her husband had informed the police. Everyone who was close to Aanchal knew her to be a positive, strong-willed woman who would never give up on life. Knowing Aanchal, her family could not believe that she could take such a sudden and unexpected step.
On reaching the scene, the family noticed that a lot of things were out of place. Some major observations that made her family believe that it wasn't a suicide were: The bucket had no marks, the distance between the bucket and fan was too much for her to have done it, the fan had no damage and the chunni was not strained.
Aanchal's father went to the Rajpur Police Station to file a formal complaint against Rahul Pandhi and his family, accusing them of murder, but he was denied that right. He waited and begged the police for 4 long hours to lodge his complaint but they refused, saying that they couldn't because the elections were being held the next day. Aanchal's brothers and friends reached the police station and demanded for their complaint to be taken. After hours of fighting and protesting the police finally took down their complaint.
All this time Rahul was sitting in the Police Station's VIP area. When Lakshya Khanduri (Aanchal's Brother) walked in to file the complaint he said to him "Mene jo karna tha kar diya, tumhe mera jo ukhadna hai, ukhad lo" (I did what I wanted to do, you do what you can you can't harm me).
During the investigation, Rahul changed his statement thrice: First, he claimed that Aanchal was depressed because her business was suffering a loss and that is why she killed herself. Then he posted from a friend's profile saying that Aanchal's family had disowned her and she was stressed about it which is why she killed herself. His latest story is that Aanchal's mother was pressuring her to leave him and Aanchal couldn't handle that pressure which is why she killed herself.
Because of Rahul's connections with big ministers and journalists, there is very little help that is given to Aanchal's family members. 'Justice for Aanchal' has caught momentum on the social media, but it will take more than just that to fight the powerful in order to get justice.
The purpose of our article is to raise the loudest and most powerful voice for Aanchal and every woman who leads a life of torture and fear. We will do whatever it takes to make her story heard. We would fight for justice. We would fight for Aanchal. No one can get away with murder, no matter how powerful he is.
Share this story and join us in our fight for justice.