PATNA: In a ghastly incident of dowry-related violence just a week after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launched a statewide campaign to abolish child marriage and dowry, a man in Muzaffarpur district killed his wife and their six-year-old daughter by setting them afire because his in-laws failed to give him Rs 50,000 as dowry.
Police said on Monday that they were conducting raids to arrest Gulab Singh, a resident of Bela Gopi village under Gaighat police station, and his parents following the death of his 35-year-old wife and the minor daughter.
Singh, who has been engaged in illegal liquor trade, and his parents are absconding since an FIR was lodged against them under Sections 498A, 304B and 302 of the Indian Penal Code. Singh’s wife Madhuri Devi and their daughter Ananya succumbed to burn injuries at Muzaffarpur’s Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) late on Sunday night.
“In her dying statement at the hospital, Meena Devi said an inebriated Gulab Singh set her on fire on Saturday night when she said she could not bring Rs 50,000 from her father as per his demand. Singh tied her to a wooden cot and set her on fire. When his daughter cried aloud, he hurled her into the fire,” said Vijay Kumar, the SHO of Ahiapur station.
This is the second major reported incident of dowry-related murder after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launched a campaign against dowry on October 2. Bihar ranks second in the country after Uttar Pradesh in cases of violence arising out of dowry demands. As many as 987 cases of dowry deaths and 4,852 cases of dowry-related atrocities were registered in Bihar last year.
A leader of Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) in Muzaffarpur was booked on October 3 evening for allegedly killing his daughter-in-law two days ago. The accused, Arun Kumar Kushwaha, who is the organisational secretary of JD(U), and his two sons have been absconding since.