By Smriti Rana:
A poor 22-year-old woman just starting out with her new life was strangled to death and burnt by her in-laws for dowry; sounds familiar? It probably will, considering how this is more or less a frequent occurrence in India. Jharkhand’s Chataniya Village, located in Garhwa district, saw the death of Sarita, wife of Vimlesh Yadav, by the hands of her in-laws on Friday, 6th July. Her body was being burnt to remove all evidence so as to cite it as a “natural death”. On hearing about this from the villagers her father, resident of Majhiaon Police Station, rushed to the spot in the forest following which the accused fled the crime scene.
This is not the first time such a catastrophe has occurred in this district. Earlier in the week, 23-year-old Puspa Devi was also strangled to death by her husband around the same area. Her father lodged an FIR accusing the husband for torture and murder. Apart from both the cases dealing with death because of dowry, there is something else that they have in common; no arrest has been made yet. Yes you read that right.
There have been many cases of dowry deaths; MoliKutty’s being the one that shocked me the most. The lady was beaten up by her in-laws for 20 days and not given any food or water. When the police finally rescued her, she looked no better than a rotting corpse. She was painfully thin with her bones jutting out of her body grotesquely, and had open wounds on her legs festering with worms.
I’m sure most of you wouldn’t even blink an eye when you read about these events taking place. I can’t say I particularly blame you. The cases are so many and so close together that they’ve started failing to shock us. We’ve gotten “used to it”, so to say. That is a very very sad statement in itself. But as an educated member of this society, I can’t help but wonder, why does this happen here? Why do we in India, seem to have all the malicious sorts of people there can be? We are either really unlucky, or really naive.
Even hitting a lady is frowned upon, but not a day here passes without new cases of rape and killing of women coming to light. Women can’t even be sure of safety within their direct family. Now these are my concerns as a responsible citizen. But my anger and fear has grown to a point where even thinking about marriage leaves me uneasy. As a scared girl, a future wife, a future daughter-in-law, I am forced to ask myself and you; when will this stop?