In a nightmare that repeats itself every so often, a 28-year-old woman in Bengaluru killed herself, allegedly because she was harassed by her in-laws for dowry. Nirmala was found hanging in a room in her husband's residence in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in West Bengaluru on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Rajarajeshwari Nagar police arrested Nirmala’s in-laws Nagaraj (58) and Prema (55), after they found that the duo had tried to destroy the death note left behind by Nirmala.
Nirmala’s distraught father says that her husband Vishwanath – a techie who works in Japan – never did anything to stop his parents.
Nirmala is a post graduate who got married to her distant relative, Vishwanath, on November 2, 2016. During the wedding, Nirmala’s parents, Parameshwar and Gayatri, gave 250g of gold, 1kg silver and Rs 1 lakh in cash as dowry.
Once she got married, Nirmala was not allowed to work. Her in-laws – Nagaraj and Prema – also started putting pressure on her to get more money from her parents, as they wanted to buy a new apartment.
“Ever since the wedding day, her in-laws have been demanding that she bring in more money. They were ruthless to her. They never let us visit their house and neither did they let her see us,” Parameshwar tells TNM.
Nirmala resisted her in-laws, and while Vishwanath did not demand anything himself, he did nothing to stop his parents, her father reveals.
Three months ago, Vishwanath’s family moved to a new home in RR Nagar and that's when the harassment grew. They allegedly badgered her to bring in more money as she had not contributed towards the buying of the flat.
“The new demand made by her in-laws was to bring home a sum of Rs 2 lakh,” Parameshwar says.
Two months ago, Parameshwar says that a frustrated Nirmala called him, and spoke of ending her life as she was unable to bear the torture any longer.
“My daughter was on the brink of ending her life. I had to stop her and kept telling her to stay strong,” Parameshwar says.
“Her father in-law had told me that it would be better if she died. I had warned him that I would ensure he went to prison if anything untoward were to happen to my daughter. But now she is no more,” Parameshwara says as he breaks down into tears.
The absent husband, a mute son
Parameshwara says that his son-in-law Vishwanath was never home to care for Nirmala as he was away for work in Japan. “He never tried to make her situation better. He only consoled her and told her that everything would be okay, but never actually tried to pull her out of the situation or help her. He just left her there to deal with those cruel people,” Parameshwar says.
On Wednesday, Nirmala had had enough and chose to end her life instead of putting up with the constant abuse. A grief-stricken Parameshwar and his wife Gayatri, residents of Mysuru, rushed to Bengaluru late on Wednesday night after they got a call from Nagaraj and Prema, to find their only daughter dead.
Even more shockingly, Nirmala’s in-laws had tried to destroy her suicide note, the police reveal. On Wednesday night, after conducting a thorough search of the house, the police found the shredded death note in a dustbin. Nirmala had written the note in Kannada and the pieces recovered speak of dowry harassment and torture by her in-laws, police added.
The in-laws have been charged with dowry harassment, abetting suicide and destruction of evidence.
Vishwanath is currently in Japan for work and has been summoned by the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Police. “We will arrest him as soon as he arrives in India,” the police told TNM.