A 24 years old medical student, Vismaya V Nair, in Kerala was compelled to take her own life due to her husband’s constant coercion demanding dowry.
Vismaya was found dead in her house on Monday, June 22. The couple had been married for more than a year. S Kiran Kumar, the husband of the deceased, was allegedly not contended by the variety of “gifts” he had received at the time of their wedding, which included a car worth Rs. 11 lakhs, 1.25 acre of land, and almost 100 sovereigns of gold.
According to her brother, a woman as “bold and vibrant” as Vismaya was very “unlikely” to take her own life. He allegedly accused Kiran Kumar of coercing her to take this extreme step.
“She wanted to be an Ayurveda doctor and was preparing to write her exams when her life ended,” said her brother.
Thrivikraman Nair, Visamya’s father, has also accused Kiran Kumar of murder, disclosing that he demanded dowry in exchange for the car being given as dowry.
“The car was purchased for loan and that is why we could not give him money instead. We had already given him 100 sovereigns of gold and 1.2 acres of land as dowry,” he said.
Kiran Kumar was taken into judicial custody, where he was booked under IPC section 304 (B), which pertains to dowry death charges. The deceased had also been sharing WhatsApp chats with her relatives, which clearly reflected that her husband was torturing the victim for dowry.
The police are awaiting the autopsy report to continue their probe further.
Vismaya’s death has invoked an intense outrage across the state. The women’s panel of the state has also filed a Suo Motu case with General Harshita Attaluri leading the police probe.
The Chief Minister also tweeted in a series of tweets the need for people to reform the marriage system and urged to disband the give and take of dowry.
“Direction has been given to the police to strengthen the district-level domestic conflict resolution centers, in which district SPs hear women’s complaints and suggest remedial measures. All district SPs have been given direction to give priority to complaints from women,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
He also stated that the girls should take a stand for themselves, reject the marriage proposals where dowry is involved and thus, set an example for society.
According to the victim’s brother, “in Kerala, dowry is rather substantial. Social stature depends on it. We just wanted to give her whatever we could”
Meanwhile, within a gap of a day, two separate incidents took place on Tuesday.
Suchitra, a 19 years old girl, was found hanging at her in-laws’ place in Vallikunnam. Her husband is an Army Jawaan and was away from home when the incident took place. The police have initiated a probe.
In Venganoor, 24 years old Archana was found dead, allegedly due to self-immolation. The husband of the deceased, Suresh, tried to escape from the house rented by the couple and has been taken into police custody. According to Archana’s parents, Suresh demanded more money from them and had a quarrel regarding the same with Archana.
Even after six decades of the enactment of the Dowry Act, this crime continues to plague a significant number of Indian households.
According to the figures of the crime data, Kerala reported 56 dowry deaths from 2016-2020. In 2021 alone, 1080 cases have been reported till April against the harassment of women by husbands and in-laws.