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In a case that has caused public outrage, a 27-year-old Kerala woman was reduced to a “bag of skeleton” by her husband and mother-in-law, who allegedly starved her for days over dowry.
Quoting neighbours and the post-mortem report, police said that Thushara, a native of Karunagappally, survived for days on just soaked rice and sugar syrup before she died in a government hospital.
Police further said that when she breathed her last due to uneasiness and illness on the midnight of March 2, she weighed only 20 kg.
Police arrested and remanded Thushara’s husband Chandulal and his mother Geetha Lal on Friday, March 29. A probe conducted by the police after Tushara’s death brought to fore her alleged torture.
“She looked like a bag of skeleton with hardly any flesh on her body. She weighed just 20 kg. A detailed inquiry has thrown light to the cruelty. Her relatives alleged that the torture was to get more dowry,” a police official said.
As alleged by Thushara’s mother Vijayalakshmi, the woman was being tortured for the last five years, and her family was not allowed to meet her for as long as a year.
Vijayalakhsmi said that although they knew that their daughter was suffering “gruesome torture”, they were afraid to complain to the police as they thought it might put their daughter’s life in danger. A neighbour also alleged that the woman was tortured by her in-laws and husband mentally and physically.
At the time of the couple’s marriage in 2013, the man’s family was given some gold ornaments and money by the woman’s family. Thurasha’s family had also promised that they would give the man’s family Rs 2,00,000 later.
The woman’s two children, 1.5-years-old and three-years-old, are healthy, police said.
Cases of women being tortured for dowry is common in the country. In March 2019, a 26-year-old woman living in a village in the outskirts of Muzaffarnagar town was gang-raped by her husband and brother-in-law over dowry.
In 2018, a 28-year-old woman’s kidney was removed by her husband as her family failed to meet their demand for dowry.
In this dark side of Indian weddings, women are treated as objects to be used for gaining wealth. This shows the incompetence and inefficiency of men who, instead of working to earn a respectful life, depend on another family to support them. They fail to realise that their actions, apart from labelling them as criminals, also reveal that they are failures.
It is important that a woman does not endure any form of torture, mental or physical, in the hands of her husband and in-laws. Both the woman and her family should ensure that they take legal actions in such cases.
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