Task force set up to study violence against South Asian women following Mandeep Kaur’s suicide

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Video of Mandeep Kaur speaking about domestic abuse by her husband. Photo videograb Twitter @MandeepKaur

An Indian-origin woman who committed suicide in Queens, N.Y., August 3, 2022, allegedly after suffering abuse from her husband for many years, has become a cause taken up by activists and elected leaders in the U.S. and India. A task force to study violence against women in the South Asian community has been set up by New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. The Indian Consulate in New York expressed sorrow over the incident.

Rajkumar, the only Indian-American elected to the State legislature, announced the task force August 7, 2022, following the suicide of Mandeep Kaur of Queens who broadcast a video recounting years of alleged domestic abuse before her suicide.

“I join with Mandeep Kaur’s family, friends, and the entire community in mourning the tragic suicide of the Richmond Hill resident at age 30,” said New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar in a press release.

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“We are deeply saddened by the death of Mandeep Kaur in Queens, New York under most tragic circumstances. We are in touch with the US authorities at Federal and local level as well as the community. We stand ready to render all assistance,” the Indian Consulate tweeted on August 6, 2022.

“The video testimonial Ms. Kaur recorded days before her suicide tells a horrifying tale of eight years of physical and psychological abuse by her husband. Anyone who commits such morally depraved crimes must face the full consequences of our criminal justice system,” Rajkumar said, adding, “I have already spoken with 102nd Precinct Commanding Officer Captain Jeremy Kivlin and he assured me that the NYPD is investigating the alarming accusations of domestic violence against Ms. Kaur.”

She said her office is a sanctuary for women needing help, particularly immigrant women, and assured anyone suffering abuse that resources of the state were there for them.   “You are not alone,” Rajkumar said, adding there was zero tolerance for violence against women in her district.

In response to this tragic event, Rajkumar said she has “established a task force led by my senior staffer Amrit Kaur to investigate and report on domestic violence within the South Asian American community, including the unique needs of South Asian women in abusive situations.”

The task force will also provide any assistance needed to coordinate the parallel investigations by the NYPD and the police in Uttar Pradesh, Mandeep Kaur’s home before moving to America.

News reports in Indian media quote family members of Mandeep Kaur speaking about her husband and family demanding more dowry and not being happy about having daughters.

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