Arlington County police have charged two men with attempted murder after they allegedly beat one of the men's wives because she had violated the customs of India, their home country.

Balir Bhuller, 33, a nurse at two local hospitals, said her husband and her brother-in-law beat her on the head with a telephone Monday evening when she refused to obey their orders that she remain silent about complaints she had about their living arrangement.

An argument broke out when she threatened to leave and take some of her belongings, she said. Bhuller told police her husband Grudial, 29, then forced her to the floor and sat on her while the brother-in-law, Sukhjinder Bhuller, 39, beat her with the telephone.

Balbir Bhuller was admitted to National Orthopaedic and Rehabilition Hospital, where she was treated for a gash on her head that required 20 stitches to close. Her husband, who was arrested at the couple's apartment on South Walter Reed Drive, was being held under $50,000 bond. Sukhjinder Bhuller also was charged with robbery. His bond was set at $100,000.

In an interview from her hospital bed Tuesday, Balbir Bhuller said her husband, who was unemployed, had been angry because she had a savings account and an automobile under her own name, a violation of the common property customs of their native land.

She said she had tired of their living arrangement with her brother-in-law and his daughter, who had been staying at the couple's one-bedroom apartment for the last four months, but was ordered by the two men to keep silent about it.

"They said I should not speak out to anybody about anything," Bhuller said. "They told me, 'You are nothing in the house.'"