When news of Kollam native Vismya’s alleged suicide due to dowry harassment broke in the state on June 21, Alappuzha native Sunitha got chills. She immediately called her 19-year-old daughter Suchithra, who married a Vallikunnam resident three months ago. Sunitha was worried because she knew her daughter had been subjected to similar harassment from her in-laws, who allegedly demanded more dowry. Sunitha was said to have reassured Suchithra not to take any drastic measures, and that her ‘Amma’ and ‘Chachan’ would always be with her. Sunitha was discovered dead in her room at her in-laws’ house the next day, on June 22.
“When I saw such news (suicide deaths), I used to tell Suchithra that Amma and Chachan are always there for her, no matter what, and that we need her. “My child will not commit suicide,” Sunitha stated. As she spoke to Asianet News, the mother was inconsolable. Suchithra’s parents claim that her death was a homicide and that she would never have committed suicide.
Suchithra, a Krishnapuram native, married Vishnu, a soldier, on March 21. Her horoscope predicted that if she does not marry before the age of 20, she will marry after seven years. As dowry, the family had given 51 sovereigns of gold and a car. Suchithra, on the other hand, was allegedly constantly harassed by her in-laws, who demanded more money. “We had planned to give Vishnu a two-wheeler, but his father insisted on a car. Sunil, Suchithra’s father, told Manorama News that they later demanded Rs 10 lakh.
According to the family, the wedding occurred after Suchithra’s father promised her in-laws that he would give them the money when he received his pension. “However, soon after the wedding, the groom’s family began demanding money again, claiming they needed it urgently for Vishnu’s sister,” Sunil explained.
When their daughter insisted on keeping the gold ornaments in the locker, the family claimed that Suchithra was harassed by her mother-in-law after the wedding. Her mother-in-law, on the other hand, allegedly mortgaged a portion of her ornaments.
Sunil, who was crying, stated, “I merely told her to store the rest of the gold in the locker.” “When Suchithra enquired about the locker, her mother-in-law yelled at her, asking if she didn’t trust them. They would have beaten my daughter if she hadn’t spoken up,” he claimed. Suchithra’s mother-in-law, according to Sunil, used to physically assault her.
Suchithra’s mother told Asianet News, “She even contacted me one day, crying, asking why we gave her gold because there are difficulties in the house in the name of gold (as the family kept demanding it).” She further said that Suchithra’s mother-in-law would nag her husband to scream at her. “She didn’t have a problem with Vishnu” (her husband). Her mother-in-law, on the other hand, would continue to bother him. Sunitha claimed that until he yelled at my daughter, she would stand outside their door saying something to annoy him.
Vishnu, on the other hand, had returned to Jharkhand, where he had been stationed, a month and a half after their wedding. Suchithra was staying with her parents in law
Suchithra’s parents also stated that they don’t believe she committed suicide. “How can she do this if she can’t even tie a proper knot?” Suchithra’s mother wondered. “Aren’t girls also human beings…?” Why do people treat females like this…my daughter had a full life ahead of her…,” Suchithra’s mother wailed.
MC Josephine, who paid a visit to Suchithra’s family before resigning as Chairperson of the Women’s Commission, was taken aback by the cause for the woman’s early marriage.
“This family told me that she (Suchithra) got married according to her horoscope in this Kerala, which is steeped in Renaissance. Because, according to it, if she does not marry within 19 years, she will have to wait until she is 27 years old to marry. She hadn’t even lived for 27 years at this point. Here, superstition still reigns supreme.”
Vishnu and his family, according to Suchithra’s relatives, were just interested in making money through the marriage. Suchithra’s uncle, K Sajeevan, told Manorama News that before marrying Suchithra, Vishnu’s family had entered into another alliance.
The prior woman’s family, however, backed out of the alliance when they requested Rs 10 lakh a few days before the wedding. In Suchithra’s situation, it was the same manner. Suchithra’s father first stated that he would purchase a Wagon R for Vishnu. However, they demanded a new TATA model car, which we agreed to. They requested Rs 10 lakh a few days before the wedding, like they had in the previous alliance. But we were unaware of the previous alliance at the time,” Sajeevan claimed.
Meanwhile, Vallikunnam police told Media that Suchithra’s parents have filed a harassment complaint against her mother-in-law. “Although we have yet to receive the post-mortem report, no suspicions, injury marks, or traces of assault were discovered in her body during the inquest,” stated Station House Officer Mithun D. A case of unnatural death has been filed. According to officials, further portions will be added as the inquiry progresses.
Kerala has recorded several women’s deaths in the last week, all of which are suspected dowry deaths. Vismaya, a 22-year-old final-year Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery student, was discovered dead at her husband Kiran Kumar’s home in Kollam’s Sasthamkotta on June 21. Vismaya had previously told her relatives about her husband’s terrible assault, complete with images.
Meanwhile, on June 21, Archana, a 24-year-old lady, allegedly committed suicide at the home she shared with her husband. Suresh, Archana’s husband, has been accused by her family of frequently abusing her and of seeking more money from Archana’s family.