PUBLISHED: 12:23 EST, 18 July 2012 | UPDATED: 12:54 EST, 18 July 2012
- Sitabai Chouhan had tried to kill herself with poison
- Medics discovered primitive chastity belt still in place
- Husband arrested and police found keys in sock
- Claimed he did it because women in family ‘strayed’
She was brought into hospital after attempting to commit suicide with rat poison.
But when nurses examined Sitabai Chouhan, they make a horrific discovery that was medieval in its barbarity.
Four years ago, the housewife had been drugged by her husband Chouhan who then punctured holes with a needle on either side of her genitals.
He had carried out the agonising assault so he could seal her private parts with a padlock when he went to work to stop her having sex with anyone else.
Assault: Sitabai Chouhan lies on a makeshift bed in hospital where nurses discovered the makeshift chastity belt
When she was admitted to the Maharaja Yashwant Raoin Hospital in Indore, India, the crudely-fashioned chastity belt was still in place.
It was only removed when police tracked down her husband and retrieved the key. He had kept the keys in his socks.
Head constable Chhaganlal said: ‘The nurses confirmed the existence of a small lock. It was only after the husband’s arrest that the lock could be opened.’
Chouhan said he had done this because several women in his family had ‘strayed’ in the past.
Barbaric: Chouhan said he had assaulted his wife because women in his family had strayed in the past
Mrs Chouhan is being treated in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Her husband, meanwhile, has been charged with cruelty and voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
Police described him as an alcoholic who was mentally disturbed.
Mrs Chouhan married her husband when she was 16. They have had five
She is said to have attempted suicide after her husband allegedly tried to rape their eldest daughter.
A chastity belt is usually a piece of clothing that can be locked to stop the wearer having sex. The first recorded examples of their use is in the 15th century.
But it is not a item completely alien to modern India. Human rights groups have reported their use in the conservative state of Rajasthan as recently as 2007.
Gender rights activists say Indian women face a barrage of threats in India.
Many of the crimes against women are a result of a deep-rooted mindset that women are inferior and must be restricted to being homemakers and childbearers.
In addition, age-old customs such as payment of hefty dowries at the time of marriage and widely held beliefs linking a female’s sexual behaviour to family honour have allowed gender crimes to persist.
Earlier this month, a dentist was reportedly arrested in Karnataka after his wife accused him of forcing her to drink his urine because she refused to meet dowry demands.