Six months after the death of a chartered accountant shook Tamil Nadu, yet another young woman, this time a doctor has allegedly lost her life to dowry harassment. 26-year-old Shalini was married for only two months when she was found dead at her Chennai residence on Monday night.
Shalini and Vishnu Bharath Reddy, who both hail from Andhra Pradesh got married in Kadappa district. They had moved to Mandaveli in Chennai only nine days ago. Her husband, who works at a private hospital, was reportedly out with his friends and came home to discover that his wife had allegedly hanged herself. He then informed her parents who came rushing to Chennai, who then proceeded to file a dowry harassment case against Vishnu. The family alleges that Shalini was murdered.
Speaking to TNM, Shalini's father Sasidhar Reddy explains why he believes that his daughter was harassed, "Before the wedding, the groom's family said they did not expect any dowry from us. But just three days after the engagement, they said give us Rs10 lakh to marry your daughter, if not we will cancel the wedding. We finally agreed upon Rs 5 lakh but requested for some time. We literally begged them because they wanted the money immediately."
Why did they not call off the wedding then?
"My daughter liked the boy and he was very stable. It was a good match and he had a good job. So we began work to get the money," he adds.
Sasidhar says his daughter did not complain of any harassment at home though. "If she had told me, how would I have let this happen? He has gone to a party, drunk and murdered her. I had no idea about this. I spoke to her on (January) 29th night and she said ‘dad, I'm fine, don't worry about me.’ But my son-in-law has harassed her. He has gone to a party, gotten drunk and murdered her," alleges Sasidhar. "If only she had informed me, I would have not have let this happen," he adds.
Sasidhar now intends to take his son-in-law to court over the death of his daughter.
The Madipakkam police have booked Vishnu for dowry harassment. He is yet to be arrested.
In July last year, 26-year-old Divya was allegedly murdered by her in laws four years into her marriage when she could not meet their demands for dowry. Her parents had sent her back to her husband's house multiple times despite the torture she was facing. The case had generated a huge amount of anger and shock in the state over the very much existent and evil dowry system.