Kerala: Two dowry-related deaths in two days provoked anger, people demanded change in law

Kerala: Two dowry-related deaths in two days provoked anger, people demanded change in law

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.

The Center is trying to find a peaceful solution to the Assam and Mizoram border dispute, no plans for a CBI inquiry - officials informed

The Center is trying to find a peaceful solution to the Assam and Mizoram border dispute, no plans for a CBI inquiry - officials informed

The Center has no plans to have a neutral agency like the CBI probe the recent clashes along the Assam-Mizoram border , but is trying to resolve the dispute peacefully at the earliest. Two top government officials said that the central government does not want to take any such decision which will worsen the situation.

He said that the central government wants a peaceful solution to the current border dispute between Assam and Mizoram and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is in constant touch with both the Chief Ministers- Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam) and Zoramthanga (Mizoram). Zoramthanga also tweeted, "I still hope for an amicable solution to the Assam-Mizoram tension from the Center."

He also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Ministers of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura and Sikkim in his tweet. At the same time, the Chief Minister of Assam said in his tweet, "Our main objective is to keep the spirit of the Northeast alive. What happened on the Assam-Mizoram border is unacceptable to the people of both the states. The border dispute can be resolved only through discussion.

The clash took place on 26 July

Asked whether the probe into the July 26 clash was likely to be handed over to a neutral agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), both the top government officials said no decision has been taken in this regard yet. Five Assam policemen and a civilian were killed and more than 50 people were injured in the clash. Apart from this, neither state of Assam or Mizoram has made any formal request for a neutral agency to conduct an inquiry, he said.

One of these officials said, "Both the state governments are cooperating and the central government is confident that there will be no more clashes on the border." FIRs have been registered against political leaders, police and civil administration officials. Both the government officials mentioned the steps taken to reduce tension along the Assam-Mizoram border.

On July 28, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla.

The Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police of both the states participated in a meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on July 28 in which it was decided to deploy a neutral force (CRPF) at the conflict site. Earlier, the two chief secretaries had met in a bilateral meeting in Delhi. After this, the central government issued an advisory to both the states asking them to maintain peace on the inter-state border. Both officials said the July 26 violence was a "sporadic" incident and such incidents are unlikely to happen again in future.