According to 27-year-old Netravati’s father, Manjunath started torturing her soon after their wedding on June 27 this year.

Say no to dowry poster
news Crime Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 16:09

Twenty-seven-year-old Netravati and Manjunath, traffic police constables in Bengaluru, got married on June 27, 2021. Exactly a month later, on July 27, Netravati was found dead in her house in Kachohalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. According to the woman’s father, her husband used to constantly harass her over dowry, which eventually drove her to take her own life. Netravati had allegedly informed her father about the dowry harassment. The Madanayakanahalli police in Bengaluru filed the first information report (FIR) against Manjunath based on the complaint by the victim’s father.

In the FIR, the victim’s father alleged that Netravati took her own life following fights between the couple, when Manjunath allegedly attacked and tortured her mentally, demanding money and jewellery. According to the FIR, the father said, “During their wedding on June 27, we had given Rs 2 lakh, a gold chain and a ring. After the marriage, he used to torture her for more money and demanded that she give her jewellery if she couldn’t get the money. My daughter had also told me that on the third day of marriage, he had come home drunk and fought with her. She had also told me over the phone that my son-in-law had taken loans from several people and he used to pester her to give him money.”

Manjunath has been booked under section 3 (giving or taking dowry) and 4 (demanding dowry) of the Dowry Prohibition Act, and section 304 (b) [dowry death] and 498 (a) [husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty] of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). A senior police official told TNM that they are investigating the case.

Netravati used to work in the Kamakshipalya traffic police station in Bengaluru, while Manjunath was a traffic police constable in the Peenya traffic police station in the city. 

Laws on dowry and helplines

The rights of women who are subjected to domestic abuse are protected under the law, including the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, if a husband or relative(s) subjects the woman to cruelty that causes grave injuries (physically or mentally) — by making unlawful demand of property or valuable or for not meeting such demands — he or they will be punished with imprisonment of upto three years and fine. Besides, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 makes the practice of giving and taking dowry illegal.

Women who are being subjected to domestic abuse or any person who is aware of such a situation can reach out to helplines that offer assistance. If you are a woman facing violence at home, call the national domestic violence hotline Dhwani - 1800 102 7282. The national helpline for women in distress is 1091.

The Scheme of Universalisation of Women Helpline (WHL) number 181 is a 24 hours helpline that provides immediate and emergency response to women affected by violence in public and private spaces. The helpline links to police, hospital or other authorities concerned. Even if the woman is interrupted during the call or is unable to specify her problem or address due to an illness or a disability, WHL will trace the call and initiate an emergency response. The helpline staff will maintain the confidentiality of the caller.

The Women Helpline Directory can be accessed here. Other state-wise women’s helpline numbers can be found here.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930
Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584

Karnataka

Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222

Kerala

Maithri: 0484 2540530
Chaithram: 0484 2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.

Telangana

State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200
SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.   

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726

Click here for working helplines across India.

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