"Not only evil but brutish behaviour..." Kerala Guv calls for action against dowry after woman doctor suicide

"We need to create more awareness in society and particularly to our girls. I feel sad that it is happening in a state which used to be a matriarchal society where women call the shots," he said.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Following the death of a young doctor allegedly by suicide over dowry demands, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said that there was need to create more awareness about dowry in society and "particularly for our girls".

"We need to create more awareness in society and particularly to our girls. I feel sad that it is happening in Kerala, a state which used to be a matriarchal society where women call the shots. They inherited the property, and here our girls are becoming so vulnerable...This is not only evil but brutish behaviour that you demand money from the girl's family," said Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.

Earlier, the National Commission for Women (NCW) had expressed deep concern over the death of the doctor in Thiruvananthapuram and requested detailed action taken report within 5 days from the Kerala police.

The commission had urged the police to invoke relevant sections of the Dowry Prohibition Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the FIR if allegations are verified.

"NCW is deeply concerned by the tragic incident in Thiruvananthapuram where a young doctor died by suicide allegedly due to dowry demands. The reported incident falls under sections of the Dowry Prohibition Act and IPC. We urge invoking these provisions in the FIR if allegations are verified. The arrest of the accused and his relatives is essential. Society's responsibility in safeguarding women's rights is crucial. A detailed action taken report is requested within 5 days from the Police," the commission posted on X.

A postgraduate student of Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram Medical College was taken into custody from Karunagapally in the State on Thursday in connection with the death of Shahana, the 26-year-old doctor who died allegedly by suicide.

Shahana's relatives have alleged that the accused, identified as Ruvaiz and his family had asked for a huge amount of dowry including gold, land and a BMW car to marry Shahana.

The male doctor has been charged with abetment to suicide under sections of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Shahana, also a PG student in the surgery department of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College was reportedly in a relationship with Ruvaiz and the two had decided to marry. The male doctor allegedly backed out of the marriage proposal after Shahna's family couldn't fulfil his dowry demands due to financial constraints.

Shahana's relatives alleged that Ruvaiz and his family stepped back from the proposal after they refused to meet the dowry demands.

Ruvaiz was suspended from the college by the principal. Police said Shahna was found dead at her rented apartment near the medical college on Tuesday morning.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the chairperson of the Kerala Women's Commission, Sathidevi, along with other members of the panel, visited Shahna's family.

Sathidevi demanded an investigation into the matter, adding that the Commission will seek a report from the police on the action taken in the case.

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