A 26-year-old married woman committed suicide by hanging herself at her father’s residence in a Juhu chawl on Wednesday as her husband watched via a web camera. On Thursday, the Juhu police booked the husband and in-laws for dowry harassment and dowry death.
According to the police, the woman Shobhana Surti lived at Annaswami chawl in the Nehru Nagar area of Juhu with two younger siblings and her parents. Shobhana was employed with a private firm.
Shobhana was in a relationship with Swapnil Surve, 28, a dog-trainer residing in Vile Parle (East) for the past six to seven years. The couple was to get married in April last year but the wedding was called off as Shobhana’s parents could not arrange a dowry of Rs25 lakh.
The couple lost contact until October last year, and a month later, they had a court marriage without the consent of their families. The two continued to stay at their respective parents’ residences after the marriage.
Shobhana’s parents learnt of the marriage a few weeks later and confronted Swapnil’s family, but his parents demanded a dowry of Rs25 lakh in order to accept Shobhana.
“Even Swapnil began harassing the woman for the amount and told her that he would have to marry another woman if Shobhana’s parents could not arrange the money. She told him her family was not well off, but to no avail,” said Arun Bhagat, senior inspector, Juhu police.
Police said she was depressed due to the harassment and on Wednesday, at around 8.30pm, when Shobhana was chatting with Swapnil via web camera, the couple had an argument and Shobhana told Swapnil that she was going to commit suicide.
“As Shobhana was making a noose out of a dupatta and hanging herself from the ceiling, Swapnil, who was watching his wife kill herself, called her sister Bhavika, who was in Jogeshwari. By the time Bhavika reached home, Shobhana had lost consciousness. She was declared dead on arrival at Cooper hospital,” said Bhagat.
The Juhu police booked Swapnil and his parents under sections 498A for dowry harassment and 304B for dowry death of the Indian Penal Code. “We have initiated a manhunt for the trio. They should be nabbed soon,” Bhagat said.