In a tragic incident, a 26-year-old Kannada playback singer Sushmita HS died by suicide on Monday at her mother’s residence in Nagarbhavi in Bengaluru after she was allegedly subjected to dowry harassment.
According to reports, Sushmita who was married in 2018 and was residing in Kumaraswamy Layout in the city, had come to her mother Meenakshi’s house on Sunday where her brother also lived. She apparently left her home after she had a fight with her husband Sharath who works as a manager of a car showroom in the city.
Police said that on Sunday night she had dinner and even chatted normally with her younger brother Sachin.
Reports said that after that she had sent a WhatsApp message to her brother and mother stating that she was having a troubled marriage and her ill-treatment at the hands of her in-laws was prompting her to take the extreme step.
At around 5:30, when Sachin saw the message, he rushed to her sister’s room where she was found hanging, police further said.
Speaking to Times of India, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Ramesh Banoth said police have a registered a case of death due to dowry (Section 304B IPC). He said that all the accused— Sharath, his aunt (Vaidehi) and sister Geetha are absconding but will be arrested soon.
TOI also quoted the victim’s mother Meenkashi as saying that she was the one who forced her to marry.
She said that she had taken a huge loan to get her daughter married and spent Rs 20 lakh on the wedding and another 150 gm of gold for the purpose. But even then, she was subjected to harassment for further dowry and was asked to move out of the house, the mother claimed. This is what Meenakshi felt was the reason for her daughter to take her own life.
Daijiworld reported that in her message, Sushmita had named Sharath, Vaidehi and Geetha as being responsible for her death and she had also said that she did not want to die in her husband’s place. She also said, “do not leave my in-laws” as part of the message sent on WhatsApp to her mother and brother. Her note said, "Sorry mom, I am paying the price for my mistakes. I have undergone a lot of torture. Please don't spare them. I didn't want to die in their house. I was being harassed from the first day but I didn't tell anyone."
In fact, Bengaluru has now come to be known as the dowry capital of south India. According to the latest crime statistics published by the National Crime Records Bureau, 53 women died due to dowry in Bengaluru in 2018. Also, more than 80% (81.3) of all cases under the Dowry Prohibition Act in 2018 were registered in Bengaluru. Even in 2017, the figure was alarming with 77% of all dowry cases registered in the country coming from Bengaluru.