‘Could be explosives’: Aishwarya’s father declines dowry returned by Rabri Devi
The women helpline had asked Rabri Devi to respond to an application by her daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai’s mother Poornima Devi who demanded return of all articles given as ‘dowry’ after her daughter was allegedly thrown out by them.
In a fresh twist to Bihar’s high-profile family drama playing out in full public view, Chandrika Rai - father-in-law of RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son Tej Pratap Yadav - refused to accept the dowry articles returned by former chief minister Rabri Devi on Thursday night. He said Tej Pratap Yadav’s family hadn’t followed the procedure to send the goods and may have slipped in liquor or explosives to get him into trouble.
The articles, mostly furniture, were shipped to Rai’s residence in response to the women’s helpline notice served to Rabri Devi on December 18. The women helpline had asked Rabri Devi to respond to an application by her daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai’s mother Poornima Devi who demanded return of all articles given as ‘dowry’ after her daughter was allegedly thrown out by them.
Infuriated, Chandrika Rai refused to unload the articles from two pick-up vans, which stood near his residence overnight, alleging that it was not in conformity to the legal provisions.
“As per the law, an inventory list shall be prepared in front of magistrate and police officer before dispatching the articles. How can I accept them, as the consignment might carry some contraband like liquor or explosives,” Chandrika Rai said.
Tej Pratap filed a divorce petition against his wife, Aishwarya, months after their marriage was solemnised in November last year. The case is still being heard.
Chandrika Rai’s refusal has provoked a sharp response from Rabri Devi’s daughter and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti who accused him claimed that he was doing it for cheap publicity and defame the Lalu family. She claimed that the articles were loaded in front of the protection officer of women’s helpline after breaking the lock of Aishwarya’s two rooms at the 10 Circular Road residence.
Aishwarya Rai had earlier accused Rabri Devi of assaulting her on December 15. Her father Chandrika Rai had lodged an FIR with Sachivalaya police station in this connection.
Aiswharya had added that her tiff with Rabri Devi started when she asked her mother in-law why posters which made obscene references to her father Chandrika Rai had come up at Patna’s BN College.
“This infuriated my mother-in-law and she dragged me by my hair causing great pain. Then I was forced out of the house by security personnel. I am grand-daughter of former chief minister Daroga Rai and see how I am being treated here,” she said.
On September 29 this year, Aishwarya Rai had created a flutter when she had come before the media to accuse her mother-in-law and sister-in law Misa Bharti, a Rajya Sabha MP, of denying her food and misbehaving with her. The family of Rai had then asserted that they would file a police complaint.