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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Dowry case in US, foreign ministry asked for help

Vinay Dhingra, Hindustan Times  Pathankot, Punjab, October 06, 2013
First Published: 17:53 IST(6/10/2013) | Last Updated: 17:59 IST(6/10/2013)

The parents of a Pathankot woman have asked external affairs ministry to intervene to stop her harassment for dowry in the US and bring her husband to India for justice.

The woman’s father-in-law, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law were arrested recently on landing in Delhi. Rajneesh Puri, father of victim Mehak Puri (22), told police about her marriage to non-resident Indian (NRI) Varun Verma of Moga in 2012. “In September 2012, she moved to the US on dependent visa after our family paid `10 lakh in dowry,” he stated in the complaint.

“In November, Varun resumed his demand for dowry, and we sent him $25,000 (more than `15 lakh), yet he wanted more,” said Puri in the complaint, adding that in May, Varun’s parents and sister had visited the US and asked for another $1 lakh (more than `60 lakh), and when it couldn’t be arranged, they had turned Mehak out of the house.

A family friend, Kulwant Singh of Corna City River Side, came to her rescue in the US and gave her shelter, the father has said, adding that Varun’s parents registered a case of domestic violence against her, which the court dismissed in first hearing.

Mehak’s complaint reached NRI-wing head Gurpreet Deo on email. “He marked a copy to the Pathankot senior superintendent of police and Mehak’s in-laws were arrested on their return to India,” said Puri.

After station house officer Sukhjinder Singh lodged them in jail, the Gurdaspur SSP, who had the additional charge of Pathankot, suspended him, as the family was influential, the victim’s father has alleged. Asked to reply, SSP Sukhwant Singh Gill said the SHO had gone ahead without his permission and manhandled Varun’s
father in custody. “Discipline is my first priority,” he said, adding: “I will extend full cooperation to the woman’s family.”


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