PALAKKAD: The State Women’s Commission has intervened in the case of a woman and her three-month-old child, who have been forced to stay outside her husband’s house in Dhoni since she returned after delivery in an alleged case of dowry harassment.
Commission member Shiji Shivji contacted the woman over the phone on Wednesday and directed the Women’s Protection Officer and the Hemambika Nagar police to initiate steps to protect her.
24-year-old Shruti, along with her infant, has been found standing in the sitout of the house from July 9 as her husband Manu Krishnan, 31, and his parents locked the house and left the place. She said that after her delivery, she arrived at her husband’s house on June 21 along with her parents and had been staying in nearby houses as the gates were locked.
The Hemambika Nagar police initially registered a case against Manu, who works in Hyderabad, and his parents under IPC Section 498 A, which deals with harassment of a woman with a view to coercing her to meet any unlawful demand for property or valuable security, said sub inspector A Anoop. He said Shruti had approached the court which ordered the protection for her and the child. Since Manu and his family have violated the order, another case has been registered against them under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
Manu and Shruthi, who is a native of Pathanamthitta, got married more than a year ago. Shruthi went to her house six months ago for delivery.
Manu who was informed of the arrival of Shruthi and child from Pathanamthitta after delivery allegedly locked the gates and left the place, she alleged. She said she is being harassed for dowry and her husband wants divorce. Though the police had held conciliation talks with members of Manu’s family, they were not ready to accommodate her. Shruthi said her husband at first said he was not the father of the child but later retracted it.
“He has been finding lame excuses for divorcing her,” she said. She also said Manu has installed a CCTV camera on the verandah of the house and has been watching the scene from Hyderabad.
She said that her parents had given 41 sovereigns of gold during the marriage, but Manu had been pestering her family to buy six cents lying adjacent to their land. Shruthi’s father, Sanal Kumar, said they have been living in a vacant house near Manu’s house since June 21. He said the Women’s Commission member is expected to come and meet them on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Manu said he had never said that the child was not his. He would do whatever is needed for the child’s upbringing. He said that he had submitted a complaint at the local police station against Shruthi’s family members on June 2 for harassing his parents but no action was taken.