Days after messages on harassment for dowry, Kerala woman dies by suicide

Thiruvananthapuram: In a shocking incident of dowry death, a medical student was found dead in her husband’s home in Kerala’s Shasthamkotta only days after she sent messages to her family alleging torture.

The 24-year old Vismaya allegedly died by suicide on June 21, reports said, due to dowry demands. Her family has alleged that she was abused over dowry issues and accused that this was a murder and not suicide.

Following this, S Kiran Kumar, her husband, was arrested by the police and charged with section 304B of the Indian Penal Code (dowry death).  Kumar, who is an assistant vehicle inspector at the Motor Vehicles Department, was subsequently suspended from service.

A few days before the incident, Vismaya had sent several messages to her cousin confessing that she was being physically harassed by her husband over dowry. She used to be regularly assaulted, dragged by her hair and stamped on the face. She also said that she had not confessed this to anyone else. The photos she sent her cousin revealed injuries on her face, shoulder and hands.

Vismaya’s family claims that they had given 100 sovereigns of gold, more than an acre of land and a Toyota Yaris car as dowry to Kumar. However, he was unsatisfied with the car and wanted more cash. He constantly used to abuse her saying that he deserved more dowry according to his stature.

State police chief Loknath Behra said that the incident shook the conscience of Kerala. He said assured stringent action against everyone involved in the woman’s death.

“It is a very sad incident which has affected the conscience of Kerala. Such incidents are very rare in our society, which is a tolerant and advanced society,” he said. Inspector general of police Harshita Attalluri is to head the investigation.

Kerala reported 56 dowry deaths from 2016 to 2020, Indian Express said in a report.

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