The death of two women in Kerala in connection with alleged dowry harassment within two days has sparked outrage. People have demanded a change in the law to stop such cases. While a 24-year-old woman died in Kollam on Monday, another woman died in Thiruvananthapuram after she allegedly set herself ablaze on Tuesday. In the Kollam case, a case has been registered against the husband under IPC sections 498 (domestic violence) and 306 (abetment to suicide), while in the second case, no formal arrest has been made so far.
State Police Chief Loknath Behera has constituted a special investigation team led by IG Harshita Ataluri to probe the cases. Police said they are waiting for the post-mortem reports of both the cases and are also conducting interrogation of the in-laws. In the Kollam case, the victim's parents told the police that their daughter was constantly harassed and tortured at her in-laws' house over a car gifted to her during the wedding. In a video chat that took place just before her death, the woman had reportedly also sent pictures of her bruises.
"Daughter was tortured for luxury car"
The victim's parents said that the daughter's husband often told her that he was entitled to a luxury car and that the car gifted by her parents was worth only Rs 10 lakh. He also often complained about the low mileage of the vehicle. He said that during the marriage last year, he had gifted his daughter a car including gold, an acre of land and other things.
She said, “But the husband often used to say that he did not like the car that we had gifted and he always argued with my daughter about this. The last time he came here, he had asked for Rs 10 lakh, which we had refused. After this their cruelty increased further. The victim's father, who is also a leader of the Communist Party of India in Kollam district, said that there were no hanging marks on his daughter's body.
In the second case, the parents of the victim girl gave this statement
In another case, a 24-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide by setting herself on fire in Vizhinjam. Later the police took her husband into custody. The girl's parents said that he used to torture their daughter for dowry. The father told that when the husband came home to pick up his daughter on Monday, he was carrying a bottle of diesel. When she asked about this, the husband reportedly told her that it was for the ants. He has alleged that his daughter could not commit suicide and that she must have been set ablaze while she was sleeping.
State Women's Commission expressed concern over the matters
State Women's Commission member Shahida Kamal said, "Both the incidents are heart-wrenching. It is sad that even after good education and economic background, many people are falling prey to the problem of dowry. We need stringent provisions to check this.” At the same time, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala and Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Chinchu Rani met the families of the victims on Tuesday.
PCC President K Sudhakaran said in his post that 'both incidents are shocking. We have to ensure that such serious incidents do not happen again. At the same time, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also condemned both the incidents and said that such incidents are a blow to the progressive society of the state. We will ensure proper punishment to the criminals. Later the state police also issued two toll-free numbers to help women register such complaints.