In 1979, at the age of 24, Kiranjit left her home of Chak Kalal in Punjab to travel to the United Kingdom after she married her husband, Deepak, whom she had met only once. REGINA v Kiranjit Ahluwalia England and Wales Court of Appeal ... was described by the appellant in police interviews, although she has not been wholly consistent. They accepted the time between the argument and the incident gave Kiranjit enough time to "boil over" rather than "cool down". VideoTech to spot sailor’s mood in tough global race, 'Bigorexia leading to depression' among gym-goers, 'Young black people need role models to see' Video'Young black people need role models to see'. That night, while he slept in bed, she doused her husband's feet in petrol and set him alight. When she first saw Provoked, she sat beside Rai, who "held my hand the whole time. Towards her late teenage years, however, pressure to marry began to build. [1] After initially being convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, Ahluwalia's conviction was later overturned on grounds of inadequate counsel and replaced with voluntary manslaughter. [10], Gita Sahgal made a film called Unprovoked for the British television investigative documentary programme Dispatches on the subject of Kiranjit's experience. Kiranjit has mixed feelings about the film. Meanwhile, Kiranjit, who still lives in England, says she's proud of the way she has rebuilt her life over the last three decades. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. A few months later, back in England, the abuse began again. Video, Rescuers rush to save beached pilot whales, US election results: Trump sues as path to victory over Biden narrows, US Election 2020: Results and exit poll in maps and charts. Kiranjit Ahluwalia was found guilty of murder in 1989, after setting alight her abusive husband’s bed whilst he slept. '", Since coming out of prison, Ahluwalia says she has enjoyed "every minute" of her life. VideoChurch pastor a career con artist, Tech to spot sailor’s mood in tough global race. Over the years, Ahluwalia bore two sons, who often witnessed the violence. "One day it was discussed in Ravi's class [he is a law student], with the lecturer talking about the significance of the Ahluwalia case. Her case eventually came to the attention of the Southall Black Sisters, who pressed for a mistrial. She lives in a three-bedroom house in Slough, has brought up two sons - both at university - and works the nightshift at her local Royal Mail sorting office. Deepak began to have extra-marital affairs and demanded money from his wife - which led to the argument before the fire. The youngest of nine siblings, she was doted upon by her older brothers and sisters. Naveen Andrews played Deepak and Aishwarya Rai played the role of Kiranjit. I often lay awake at night next to him because I was too frightened to sleep." "I had a happy childhood," she says, "and was not used to being treated badly until I met Deepak. Kiranjit Ahluwalia said the incident - after what she says was a decade of abuse at her husband's hands - tipped her over the edge. Her case was taken up by Southall Black Sisters (SBS), an advocacy service for black and Asian women. "No one talks to me with even the slightest bit of disrespect. He punched me in the face.". .css-8h1dth-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-8h1dth-Link:hover,.css-8h1dth-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. I decided to burn his feet so he couldn't run after me.". I wanted to hit him the way he hit me. The final result of the presidential election hinges on just a handful of key battleground states. ", Her sons, Ravi and Sanjay, now 21 and 23, and both at university, are a great source of pride. I could never look at those photos of his injuries during my trial. Video, Tech to spot sailor’s mood in tough global race, 'Young black people need role models to see' Video, 'Young black people need role models to see', What does developing a Covid-19 vaccine look like? She pleaded not guilty, but the defence made little of the violence she had endured. What does developing a Covid-19 vaccine look like? That same week, he lost his temper and with that ring he broke my tooth. At times I had tried to run away, but he would catch me and beat me even harder. [7] At the trial, the prosecution argued that although on the night of the event she had been threatened with a hot poker, the fact that she waited until her husband had gone to sleep was evidence that she had time to "cool off" and weigh to a nicety her actions. I was treated like a slave. "We tried to speak to her lawyers at the time and tried to educate them on her cultural context. Kiranjit Ahluwalia says she has rebuilt her life in the 30 years since she set her husband on fire. It seems like a bad dream. She poured it over the bed and set it alight, and ran into a garden with her three-year-old son. She received no help from his family - Deepak threatened them if they ever intervened. When I call her, she insists I come to dinner. But I was so frightened of him that I didn't say anything. He would push me about, yank my hair, hit me and drop heavy pans on my feet. At first glance, Kiranjit Ahluwalia seems an unlikely subject for a film. "I couldn't escape, couldn't get a divorce. The prosecution suggested that Ahluwalia was a jealous woman who had killed her husband because he was having affairs. '", Ahluwalia says she is often approached in the street by women keen to talk to her about their own experiences of domestic violence. But Ahluwalia has led an extraordinary life, which has inspired the new British Asian film, Provoked: A True Story. When Kiranjit stood trial for the murder of her husband, she says the abuse she suffered was disregarded, and she felt angry upon hearing the sentence. "That was a major moment in the history of women's struggles against violence in this country, particularly in relation to minority women because it was the first time that minority communities had to reflect, accept and recognise that gender-based violence exists and that some of the way we treat women is partly responsible.". [1], She wrote an autobiography with coauthor Rahila Gupta, Circle of Light. The film Provoked (2006) is a fictionalised account of Ahluwalia's life. Wed 4 Apr 2007 12.16 BST Rescuers rush to save beached pilot whales. "I couldn't see an end to the violence," she says now. One minute he was as good as gold, the next he was horrible. "He came to see me in Canada. "Before my case, it was far worse for Asian women suffering domestic violence," says Ahluwalia. As the group celebrates its anniversary, it screened the film made about the case, called Provoked, over the weekend as part of the UK Asian Film Festival, which will run across the country until May. So that was it. US election results: Tables turned as Trump voters start to worry. He would not allow me to drink black coffee or eat chillies, for the simple reason that I enjoyed them. She stated that she had suffered from domestic abuse for ten years, including physical violence, food deprivation, and marital rape. "This is too realistic and hard-hitting to be Bollywood. Recalling her first impressions of her husband, she said he was "very good-looking, handsome and charming" but she never knew when he would snap.

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