On Thursday 4 persons sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district for killing a 22-year-old pregnant woman 14 years ago due to her father’s failure to pay more dowry.
The four sentenced by North Dinajpur Fast Track Court (2) Judge B K Prasad involved victim Sabina Khatun’s husband Mahidur Rahman, and 3 others.
According to the grievance lodged by the Khatun’s father Hakimuddin at the Kaliaganj police station after the incident, he had paid money of Rs 8 lakh and 50-gram gold ornaments as dowry to Rahman, who is a school teacher, throughout the wedding. However, 6 months after the wedding, Rahman had asked an additional dowry of Rs 5 lakh, according to the complaint.
According to the prosecution, due to Hakimuddin’s inability to pay the required sum, the arrested persons murdered Khatun on September 23, 2005, threw her body parts at various locations under Raiganj and Kaliaganj police station limits.
India reports the highest total number of dowry deaths with 8,391 such deaths reported in 2010, meaning there are 1.4 deaths per 100,000 women. Dowry deaths are deaths of married women who are killed or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and cruelty by their husbands and in-laws over a dispute about their dowry, making the women’s homes the most dangerous place for them to be.
Female dowry deaths account for 40 to 50 percent of all female homicides reported annually in India, depicting a stable trend over the period 1999 to 2016.