A 34-year-old woman, identified as Shanthi, was found dead in her house in Chennai’s Adambakkam on Friday. Hours after her death, her parents have alleged dowry-related torture and domestic violence by her husband, a practicing advocate in the Madras High Court, and in-laws.
According to the FIR registered by the Adambakkam police, Shanthi’s mother Vijayalakshmi accused her husband and in-laws of domestic violence and of murdering Shanthi. Shanthi got married to Prem Anand around 11 years ago and lived with him and their two sons, aged eight and four, in Tiruvalluvar Nagar in Adambakkam.
“I got news that my daughter had killed herself around 9.30 am on July 12. Since the time my daughter got married, the couple has been fighting, and there have been instances of Shanthi being tortured for dowry. We and both our sons have given whatever possible to enable our daughter to live happily with her husband,” Vijayalakshmi claimed in the FIR.
Further, the FIR alleged that whenever Shanthi confessed about her problems to her parents over the phone, Prem Anand used to threaten her saying that he would foist false cases against her father and two brothers and harass them.
“In the first year of their marriage, Shanthi was pregnant and lost her baby in the last month of pregnancy due to the torture she faced from her husband and in-laws,” the FIR alleged.
Adding that Prem Anand had recently sent Shanthi to her parents’ house and also sent a divorce notice to her, the FIR stated that the couple was counselled by Shanthi’s parents. After this, Shanthi and Prem Anand went home together to start afresh. However, on July 12, Shanthi’s parents received news that their daughter was dead.
“Sir, my daughter is not a coward to kill herself and she would discuss any and every problem with us. Hence, I think this is not suicide and I suspect murder,” Vijayalakshmi stated in the FIR.
The police have registered a case under section 174 CrPC (Suspicious death) and are investigating.
Speaking to TNM about the case, an officer from the Adambakkam police station said no arrests have been made yet. “We are waiting for the autopsy report from the hospital. Based on that, we will take action. As of now, we have not made any alterations to the FIR,” the officer said.