More than 45 women committed suicide every month in Madhya Pradesh over dowry, revealed the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau. Of the 565 such cases recorded in 2015 in the state, 554 were women.
After MP, West Bengal recorded the second highest number of suicides over dowry with 346 deaths; Uttar Pradesh with 318 suicides came third.
MP’s capital Bhopal recorded the second highest suicides over dowry after Delhi. Indore was the third highest on the list. Delhi reported 58 suicides, Bhopal 28 and Indore 26.
The previous NCRB data, released in August 2016, put MP on the third spot with 664 dowry deaths. In most cases, women were killed after dowry harassment.
Dowry-related deaths declined by 18% in the state compared 669 cases in 2014. Of the 669 cases, 668 were women.
What is the reason behind such a large number of cases in MP, known for its sizeable tribal population that treats women with respect?
Prathana Mishra, a social worker, said a competition among all classes has led the increase in such cases. “All classes in our society have a mindset for receiving and paying dowry. Influx of people from other states to MP strengthened this mindset.”
Rukmani Zhinzore, a member of Shaurya Dal, told HT that she and her team counselled women to not take their lives and prevented at least 10 such cases. “In smaller and remote regions, the pressure to pay dowry is tremendous. Even after marriage, the groom’s family keeps demanding money and other items from the girl’s family, ” said Zhinzore from Khirkiya town in MP.
“You can only count the number of cases which were reported; according to our estimate, more than 40% cases from remote region are not recorded. The families try to hide the deaths.”