BENGALURU: In 2018, the number of dowry-related cases filed with the city police reduced from 727 a year earlier, to 690. While this might be cause for some cheer, another statistic from the police tells a different story. Last year saw 52 women die in dowry-related cases, including by suicide or murder, up from 48 in 2017.
“We see cases like these often, the women are encouraged to lodge a complaint and we investigate the case before taking it to the court,” a senior police officer said. However, according to him, while the number of complaints are reducing, they are becoming more serious in nature, often leading to consequences where the wife is attacked.
CE accessed details of a few cases which range from verbal abuse to torture when women find themselves unable or unwilling to meet the demands raised by the groom’s family. In many cases, these demands escalate after marriage. In one case narrated by a police inspector, a man from the city took 1 kg gold from the girl’s family as dowry. The wife was then tortured for cash within a few weeks of the marriage, and upon denial, she was burnt.
“In one instance, the girl’s family paid `15 lakh for the marriage and `1.3 lakh as dowry. The girl was asked to help pay the grooms housing loan. She retaliated and immediately began facing threats,” the police officer said.
The Family Counselling Centre run by Parihar, an initiative to help women and children through a helpline, with the support of the city police, regularly deals with dowry harassment cases. Between April 2017 and March 2018, 127 cases of dowry harassment were brought to the attention of the helpline. In addition, 343 domestic violence cases were also registered by Parihar.