This reminds her of Rekha Desai*, another woman she helped. Rekha states: “His family members lied to me and said that he was a bus conductor while he was a gambler.” Within a year of the marriage, she found out that her husband was having a relationship outside of the marriage. When she began confronting him, he resorted to physical violence. “For eight years, he abused and beat me. Even his family members would mentally harass me.”
When Rekha returned to her maternal home for a few days, she met Akkatai, who assured her safety. Before filing a complaint, Akkatai usually speaks to both the parties and only then proceeds. “Rekha’s husband threatened us, and even abused me, ” says Akkatai.
She began her preliminary investigation by talking to the villagers at length. “I found everything about his illicit affair, the gambling, and how he sought local politicians’ help to silence Rekha,” says Akkatai.