Vidhya with her daughters Shradha and Varadha.
Vidhya with her daughters Shradha and Varadha. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An Indian man has been sentenced to life in jail for stabbing his wife to death in broad daylight at the parking lot of the victim’s office in Dubai.
In the UAE, life sentence means a 25-year jail term.

The court heard that Vidhya Chandran, 40, a mother of two, was stabbed to death by her 44-year-old husband, Ugesh C.S., on September 9 last year.

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Hailing from Kerala, Vidhya was supposed to fly home with her children that night to celebrate Onam.

While the wife’s family said the husband had been harassing her for several years, the husband told police that he suspected she was cheating on him by having an affair with another man.

According to official records, Dubai Police was alerted at 10.30am about a body of a woman in the parking of the company located in the Al Quoz area.

The victim’s manager testified that he had called her, but she didn’t answer his calls. He then asked an employee to search for her.

“I went outside and I saw her covered with blood and [lying] motionless. She was stabbed and I think she was dead when I saw her,” the 32-year-old Indian manager said.

The police identified the victim and her husband who had entered the country on a visit visa. The defendant was arrested the same day in Jebel Ali.

Vidhya with her daughters Shradha and Varadha.
Vidhya with her daughters Shradha and Varadha. Image Credit: Supplied

“He admitted to stabbing his wife to death. His wife had come to the country one year ago and worked for the company. He arrived in the country a month before the incident and met his wife three times,” an Emirati policeman said on record.

The defendant said that he had received a text message from his wife’s manager, alerting him that his wife was in a relationship with another man.

“The defendant claimed that he was talking to the manager about the message as he too was suspicious of her behaviour. When his wife came, she got angry with her husband because he had embarrassed her in front of the manager,” the policeman added. After a heated argument, he stabbed her three times with a knife and left the spot.

Premeditated murder

Earlier, while repatriating her body, Vidhya’s manager had claimed that Ugesh, the husband, had behaved normally with him barely minutes before committing the gruesome crime.

M. Subburaj, managing director of a technical company in Al Quoz, had told Gulf News that Ugesh was drunk when he went to meet Vidhya at their office. Subburaj said Ugesh had left the office, following which, he also went out for some business meeting.

He said Ugesh might have hid himself outside the office compound for a while. It was suspected that Vidhya went out to meet Ugesh after he had called her on the phone.

“There are CCTV cameras inside the compound and the office parking lot. He committed the crime in a sandy parking lot outside the office,” Subburaj had said. Dubai Public Prosecution charged has the defendant with premeditated murder.

The Dubai Court of First Instance found the defendant guilty and sentenced him to life in jail, to be followed by deportation. The verdict will be subject to appeal within 15 days from July 20.

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Punishment a deterrent for abusive husbands

Reacting to the verdict, Vidhya’s elder brother Vinay Chandran said he appreciated the life sentence given to the convict though the family was expecting a capital punishment for him.

“No woman should suffer like her. His punishment should be a deterrent for abusive husbands like him,” he told Gulf News over the phone from Kerala.

“He had been torturing her for 16 years. He would always create some problems and harass her. She never revealed the extent of abuse she had suffered. She was determined to work hard for the education and future of her children.

“She went to work abroad mainly to clear a Rs1 million loan that her husband had taken against her property without her knowledge,” he claimed.

A friend of Vidhya in the UAE said the victim struggled to make ends meet and would sometimes live on biscuits to send money home.

Fulfilling a mother’s wish

“Though she was constantly harassed by her husband, she silently suffered everything and just lived for her daughters,” she said.

Fulfilling her mother’s wishes, she said, Vidhya’s elder daughter U.V. Shradha recently secured an A plus in all subjects in her grade 12 exams. The younger child, Varadha, is in grade two.

Though Vidhya’s friends have been doing their bit in supporting her family, she said they were looking forward to the court pronouncing a certain amount of blood money (diya) as well as part of the verdict.

“It is very hard for people to offer constant support in the current scenario. We are waiting to see if the children will get financial support through diya money.”

In the court verdict, there was no mention of blood money.