In a shocking case of harassment, 30-year-old international shooter Varsha Tomar has accused her husband and mother in-law of barring her from engaging in sports activities over dowry.
A case of dowry harassment, criminal intimidation and criminal breach of trust was registered against Tomar’s husband, Suraj Chaudhary, and her mother-in-law, Tushtata Chaudhary, at DLF City Phase I police station. The cops arrested Chaudhary on the same day.
Tomar, who has participated in 34 national and international shooting events and won 8 gold, 5 silver and 15 bronze medals, said she was forced to stay indoors for several days and not allowed to go for practice sessions.
“When I refused to fulfill dowry demands, they started asking me to leave the sport. They stopped me from attending any practice session,” Tomar said.
According to the police complaint, Tomar, who has represented India at various shooting competitions, married Chaudhary, a native of Uttar Pradesh and a Noida-based lawyer, in December 2011.
At the time of marriage, the FIR said, Tomar’s in-laws promised her that she could pursue her shooting career. Later, however, they started abusing her and stopped her from stepping out of the house.
“I have been subjected to harsh, cruel and inhuman behaviour by my husband and in-laws. They kept demanding cash and gifts from my family. They also put pressure on us for buying a flat in Noida,” Tomar said. Describing how the harassment adversely affected her career, Tomar said that her in-laws threatened her to such an extent that she fell from first to fourth position at the Asian Clay Shooting championship.
“I was even interrupted during meditation sessions which are crucial to enhance my performance,” added Tomar.
In August 2012, Tomar said the harassment reached such heights that she had to be rushed to a private hospital due to her deteriorating health.
“On January 19, my husband threatened me of dire consequences if I did not fulfil his dowry demands at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in Delhi, in the presence of my colleagues,” said Tomar.
When things went out of control, Tomar’s parents tried to persuade her in-laws to resolve the marital discord. The family, however, ignored the plea and simply called it an ‘immature act’ on their son’s part.
Meanwhile, the accused and his lawyer refused to comment on the issue.