Kiran drove Vismaya to suicide over a car he got as dowry: Timeline of his atrocities

Vismaya Nair, a 22-year-old BAMS student, had died by suicide in June 2021 after months of abuse by her husband Kiran Kumar over dowry.
Vismaya and Kiran at their wedding
Vismaya and Kiran at their wedding
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On Monday, May 23, the Kollam Additional Sessions court found Vismaya’s husband Kiran Kumar guilty of driving her to suicide, after harassing her for months over her dowry. Close to a year ago, Vismaya V Nair, a 22-year-old Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery student, was found dead at her marital home in Kollam. Here is a timeline of the events that eventually led to Vismaya’s tragic death on June 21, 2021.

Vismaya and Kiran, an official with the Motor Vehicle Department, first became acquainted through a matrimonial website. Vijith Nair, Vismaya’s brother, told The Quint that she would manage her own profile, and that she had decided on marrying Kiran even before the match was approved by their families. They were engaged on September 12, 2019, and got married eight months later.

The two got married on May 31, 2020, and Vismaya and Kiran had special photo shoots for their haldi and wedding.

Vismaya and her family at the haldi ceremony

But a mere nine days after her marriage, Vismaya told her father about the abuse. In a recording that later surfaced, she is heard saying, “If I’m made to live here, you will not see me again. I will do something, I cannot bear it anymore. Father, I want to come back.” She goes on to say, “I am scared acha, I can’t go on like this,” she told him. While the father said she could come back to their home, he also said, “[Kiran] is saying those things in anger. That is how life is.”

According to the chargesheet filed by the Kerala police, the abuse began just a day after their wedding. The first altercation was because Kiran wanted a Honda City car as part of the dowry, but later agreed for a Volkswagen Vento car. According to her father Thrivikraman Nair, the family had given 100 sovereigns (800 gms of gold), one acre of land and a Toyota Yaris car as dowry. However, Kiran wanted cash and the car to be exchanged.

On June 9, Kiran took 42 out of the hundred sovereigns that Vismaya had gotten as part of her dowry, and transferred it to his own locker. Months later, on August 29, the two had another serious argument, while they were returning from shopping. He stopped the car and physically assaulted her. Vismaya escaped from the car and ran into the nearby house of a man to escape Kiran. She stayed there for about an hour before going back to her marital home. The man later became a key witness in the case following her death.

More instances of violence that Vismaya faced at the hands of Kiran surfaced in the coming months. On the night of January 2, 2021, before the couple was set to go to Vismaya’s parents’ house, Kiran got drunk and hit her. The abuse continued even after they reached the parents’ house, as Kiran began arguing with Vismaya in front of them. He was complaining about her dowry, and even told her parents that they “dumped a waste woman and a useless car” on him. He then slapped her in front of her father Thrivikraman, mother Sajitha and brother Vijith. When Vijith tried to intervene, Kiran hit him as well, and even broke his arm.

The following day, on January 3, Vismaya’s family approached the Chadayamangalam police in Kollam to lodge a complaint against Kiran. However, they decided not to file the complaint, after the intervention of Kiran’s family and friends. Vismaya stayed at her parents’ house after this.

However, on January 4, Vismaya went back to Kiran’s house to collect the hall ticket for her upcoming exam, and stayed back there. Days later, on January 11, Thrivikraman and Vijith had gone to their house in order to invite the two for Vijith’s wedding, and brought her back to her parents’ place. She remained there for over two months. In March, Vismaya had gone to her college to write an exam, and Kiran had picked her up from the campus and brought her back to his house.

The abuse continued there. As per the police chargesheet, on April 17, following an argument, Kiran destroyed Vismaya’s phone, and told her that she could contact only her mother — not her father or brother — and that too, only by using his phone. He also physically assaulted her, and hit her face several times with a shoe. Vismaya spoke to her mother over the phone during this time and told her of the abuse she was suffering, but her mother did not inform anyone and believed the matter would get resolved.

Two days before she took her own life, Vismaya had sent her cousin a WhatsApp message, telling him about the abuse that she faced. She had also shared images of herself which showed injuries on her face, hands and shoulders, due to harassment at the hands of her husband, which all began with an argument over a car. She died two days later on June 21, 2021.

After her death, Vismaya’s mother Sajitha told the media that Kiran would not let Vismaya contact her parents. “She called me on June 20 and asked me to give her Rs 5,500 to pay her exam fees. I did not have the money and I told her to ask Kiran. She said he would shout at her. Kiran had blocked her from contacting her father and brother. After she begged Kiran, she was allowed to call only me. She would call me from the bathroom, and once she told me that he hit her so badly in the face that her mouth was bleeding. I told her to come back, but she was worried about what people would say and that she would endure the abuse,” Sajitha told the media.

Kiran surrendered to the police on the night of Vismaya’s death. A police case was filed based on the complaint by Vismaya’s parents. However, while news of the death had shocked Kerala, Kiran’s parents began speaking to the media. In their various interviews to news channels, they shifted the blame on Vismaya’s family, and even gave varying accounts of what happened to different channels.

They said that on the night of Vismaya’s death, they heard noises coming from the couple’s room and later, Vismaya came to them crying, saying she wanted to go home. But Kiran’s father purportedly told her to wait till morning, by which time she had taken her own life.

In an interview to Marunadan Malayali, Kiran’s mother Chandramathi even alleged that Vismaya and her parents had conspired to “trap” Kiran, and that Vismaya’s cries to go home were part of the conspiracy. In the same interview, she said that Kiran was unhappy with the Toyota Yaris car that was given to him and they would fight over it, but this was a “youngster’s mistake”. She also placed the blame on Vismaya’s family, saying that they should have resolved the issue.

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