When Shalini Ambust got married to Uttam Kumar Srivastava five years ago, she had little idea that her suave husband — an engineer working with a private sector steel company in Raipur — had a very dark side. She was happy.
On Sunday evening, her maid went to her unsuspecting neighbours in Vaishalinagar, about 40 km west of Raipur, pleading them to rescue Shalini from the garage of her house. She had been locked up for more than a month.
The rescuers informed the police that they found insects crawling over wounds on her legs. She was rushed to a private nursing home.
The Srivastavas wanted more dowry, although her brother Saurabh said, “We gave Rs 5 lakh in cash and a Scorpio at the time of marriage. She was not allowed even to visit her maternal home or meet any one of us during the last three years.”
The police booked her husband Uttam and his mother and sister under the Dowry Act.
“Appearing frail and very weak, 33-year-old Shalini weighs less than 30 kg. The crime is comparable to an attempt to murder,” Durg superintendent of police Dipanshu Kabra told Hindustan Times.
Women’s rights activists and the police admitted that Shalini, although an educated woman, endured the atrocities because she did not know anything about the Domestic Violence Act.