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Dowry stalks urban India

Apart from arranged marriages, demands of dowry is ruining relationships arising out of courtship

delhi Updated: May 01, 2012 02:11 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times

Killing of women for dowry is no longer a rural phenomenon. The menace is fast catching up with the metropolitan elite - those who are considered educated, civil and well to do.

Also, it is no more confined to the arranged marriages but afflicting matrimonial bonds that emerge out of years of courtship and love.

The fact that 12 women are either killed or forced to die for dowry each month in the national Capital would bring the gravity of the situation in focus. The latest example in which a 26-year-old manager of a private company in Gurgaon was forced to commit suicide allegedly by her fiancé exemplifies this disturbing trend.

Manjeet Kaur hanged herself from the ceiling fan at her West Patel Nagar residence after her fiancé, Saurabh Gugnani, refused to marry her even though the date for their marriage had been fixed as October 30, 2011.

Kaur had met Gugnani through a common friend and the latter proposed marriage after two years of courtship. Her family members have alleged that despite giving in to every demand that Gugnani's family had set for the engagement, which was concluded on April 14, the boy's family greed had no end.

"They were pressuring us to give R5 lakh in cash and a Honda City car as dowry. Since I could not fulfill their demands, they broke the marriage," said Balwinder Singh, Kaur's father.

"They were torturing my daughter mentally. Her chat details revealed that Gugnani had asked her to commit suicide as that was the last option left for her," added Singh.

According to the statistics provided by the Delhi Police, Delhi reported 142 dowry deaths in 2011.

The number of such deaths stood at 143 in 2010. Merely because the number has not registered an increase should provide no consolation, as it has not declined as well.

Countrywide, 8,391 cases of dowry death were reported in 2010 while in the year 2000 a total of 6,995 women were killed for dowry.

First Published: May 01, 2012 00:31 IST