Published On : Sat, May 6th, 2017

Husband, in-laws arrested for abetting woman’s suicide over Rs 5 lakh dowry

Husband, in-laws arrested Dowry
The age-old dowry menace, despite a slew of measures and awareness campaigns, refuses to die. On the contrary, the scourge continues to take toll of both affluent and poor women. Marrying off daughters to suitable men has come to mean that families frequently have to mortgage their homes, sell personal belongings or perform years of hard labour to pay the dowry demanded by the groom’s family. The dowry system is thought to put great financial burden on the bride’s family. In some cases, the dowry system leads to crime against women, ranging from emotional abuse, injury to even deaths. The payment of dowry has long been prohibited under specific laws including the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and subsequently by Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code.

Yet, data from the National Crime Records Bureau indicates more than 8,000 women died due to dowry-related reasons last year.

In a recent incident, Rupali Pankaj Paunikar (27), resident of Garoba Maidan, coming under Lakadganj Police Station jurisdiction, fed up with the constant torture at the hands of husband and in-laws, ended her life by hanging. Following a complaint filed by Rupali’s father, police have arrested seven persons including husband and in-laws on charges abetting her suicide.

According to details, the Tandapeth resident Ashok Govindrao Parate’s daughter Rupali was married to Pankaj Murlidhar Paunikar (32) on July 26, 2013. Sharp at her studies, Rupali continued her education even after marriage. Life was blissful. But six months after her marriage, Rupali’s husband and in-laws started showing their true colours. Rupali was subjected to mental and physical torture even for trivial matters. However, the main “purpose” of torment of Rupali was dowry. The harassment refused to cease even after arrival of a baby in Paunikars’ lives. In fact the situation got worsened. Rupali was asked to bring Rs 5 lakh from her parents, according to her mother Kamal Parate. Fed up with the constant harassment at the hands of greedy, senseless husband and in-laws, Rupali decided to free herself from the dowry clutches. She ended her life by hanging in her residence.

Based on a probe and complaint filed by Ashok Parate, father of Rupali, Lakadganj police on Friday
arrested Rupali’s husband Pankaj Murlidhar Paunikar, father-in-law Murlidhar Dyandeo Paunikar (65), mother-in-law Shashikala Murlidhar Paunikar (60), sister-in-law Bhagyashree Sunil Paunikar (35), brother-in-law Sunil PurshottamPaunikar(40), all residents of Plot No 80, Garoba Maidan, Chhapru Nagar, Mayuri Ravi Paunikar (30), a resident of Mumbai, and Nalu Khapekar (36), a resident of Jagnath Budhwari.

All the arrested seven accused have been booked under Sections 304(B), 306, 498(A), 34 of the IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.