A Hyderabad-based anesthesiologist killed herself by overdosing on pills late on Tuesday night in Alwal in Hyderabad, allegedly over dowry harassment and caste discrimination by her in-laws. Jaya Sree had married Gangisetti Karthik, a general physician, in 2015. Police said that Jaya had spoken to her husband and in-laws before taking her life.
According to Guruvaiah, Jaya’s father, Jaya and Karthik pursued MBBS from China where they met and got to know each other. While Karthik belonged to the Naidu community, generally considered as a dominant caste, Jaya belonged to the SC Madiga community.
Speaking to TNM, Guruvaiah said that when Jaya informed them about Karthik, they were initially against the marriage as he belonged to a dominant caste and they were worried that their daughter might face caste discrimination. However, after Jaya insisted repeatedly, they had agreed to the marriage.
When Jaya and Karthik got married, Guruvaiah said that his family gave Rs 25 lakh cash, 45 tolas of gold and silver weighing 2 kg as dowry. Trouble started brewing between the couple last year after Karthik would allegedly ask Jaya’s father for money, but wouldn’t return it.
“Their marriage was good till last year. However, owing to his lavish lifestyle Karthik would often ask for money which I lent to him initially. As he never returned the amount, I stopped giving him money. This led to fights between them. He started harassing my daughter and used casteist slurs at her,” Guruvaiah alleged.
He further claimed that his daughter was mistreated because of her caste and filed a complaint with the Alwal police after her death.
In his complaint to the police, Guruvaiah claimed that even when the couple went for their honeymoon, Karthik forced Jaya to bear all the expenses. Karthik had then called Guruvaiah and asked for more money, which he refused to pay, the complainant stated.
“Since then, my son-in-law and his parents started harassing my daughter and did not respond to my calls and even refused to visit our house on the occasion of Dussehra festival. Many times, they have also pointed out by taking their caste name with my daughter,” alleged Guruvaiah in his complaint.
The police said that Jaya did not go to work and was home alone on Tuesday, and had even called Karthik and asked if they could go out for dinner. Preliminary investigation suggests that she consumed the pills as her husband was returning home. She was found unconscious by her in-laws.
The family then rushed Jaya to a hospital, but the doctors declared her brought dead. Her father was informed of her death after her body was shifted to the mortuary of the state-run Gandhi Hospital in the city for an autopsy.
Based on Guruvaiah’s complaint, the Alwal police registered a case against Karthik under Section 304(b) (Dowry Death) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Further investigation is ongoing.
Those in need of counselling can contact Roshni, a suicide helpline operational every day from 11 am to 9 pm. Roshni can be reached at 040 66202000/2001.