Dowry statistics touch shocking high in state

Recent statistics given out by the Bihar State Commission for Women have revealed a shocking upsurge in the number of dowry cases in the state.
The data also indicate that various initiatives taken by the government and different agencies have come a cropper. Last year, the number of dowry cases reported was 1,265, whereas the count has touched almost 1,000 till now this year.
A dowry case, relating to one Priyanka Soni (now 21), was reported to the Bihar State Women Commission from Chhapra recently. The girl was married to a man in Chhapra. The husband, employed in a private firm, relocated to Delhi. Thereafter, he landed a job in a public sector bank. He sent Priyanka back to Chhapra, promising to fetch her after sometime. Soon, Priyanka got to know that he remarried in Delhi. The girl had no other option than to knock on the doors of the Bihar State Commission for Women. Talking of atrocities related to dowry, a member of the Bihar State Commission for Women, Vandana Narayan, said in Priyanka’s case, the father of her husband’s second wife had given a lump sum amount apart from different goods. Vandana said: “Over the last five years, there has been at least a 15 per cent rise in the number of dowry related cases. For example, in order to coerce the bride’s father into giving a good amount of dowry, she is tortured after marriage. At times, she is told that she is not beautiful and good enough. So to compensate those, she must bring a motorcycle or a car from her parents. In some other cases, when the boy gets married due to pressure by parents, he starts demanding a hefty amount of dowry from her family members.”
“Nowadays, the most common trend is that the husband and his family members do not get easily satisfied with the dowry they have already got from the bride’s family. So, as if to avenge that, the boy marries another girl and throws his first wife out of the house. Dowry cases cannot be determined by caste and creed,” elucidated Vandana. Citing another example, Vandana said in Bihar Sharif, one Khurshida Khatun was thrown out of her in-laws’ place by her husband Meraj Alam after barely 20 days of marriage. Everything was fine till Meraj’s brother started torturing Khurshida. Her in-laws told her that she would be killed if she dared come back empty-handed to their residence.
In another case reported to the Bihar State Commission for Women, one Anupam Kumari was forced to leave her Delhi residence by her husband, who hailed from East Champaran district.
Anupam’s father-in-law stayed in Dubaha village, Thana Darba in Motihari district. Barely, four to five days after the marriage, the mother-in-law complained that no vehicle was given as part of the dowry. Thereafter, the husband took her to Delhi. Anupam soon found out that her husband was involved in an extra-marital affair. Even after this , Anupam continued staying there, but she was ordered to fetch Rs 7 lakhs from her parents.
According to Anupam, Rs 6,50,000 and jewellery had already been given to her in-laws , but they were not content with that. After being thrown out, Anupam took shelter at a centre of the commission for women.
When this correspondent approached Anita Sinha, the national president of the Rashtriya Mahila Brigade, she said: “We are training dowry victims, who could not raise their voices against crimes meted out to them earlier, on ways to deal with situations. We train up unmarried girls too, we also go to the houses of victims to explain their in-laws the vice of demanding dowry and discourage them from torturing the brides.”

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