Gurugram: MBA grad (25) scribbles dowry ordeal on arm & in suicide note


Gurgaon: “I never wanted to end my life but I have no other option. I couldn’t fulfil my dreams of being independent, opening an NGO, and solo trips. Cremate me like a single woman, not a married one,” a note found on Ritu Yadav (25) read. Barely three months after her marriage, the MBA graduate was found hanging from the ceiling of her room in Palam Vihar on May 19.
Apart from the five-page suicide note, Ritu had also scribbled a few lines on the left palm and arm, accusing her husband and in-laws of harassing her for dowry and stifling her dreams.
“She wanted to be self-sufficient and start an animal welfare organisation. She was getting ready for a government job too. Before marriage, her husband and in-laws had agreed to allow her to work. But they eventually confined her to the kitchen,” Ritu’s brother Kuldeep said.
The five-page note painted her ordeal at home. “Basically, I was married to him, Chetan, because of his career, and he was wedded to me because of the dowry… He is not even agreeing to a divorce. He doesn’t even talk to me.”
Their marriage had been arranged in February. “Her husband had a decent government job. We were told the family was good. We gave more than we could afford in the dowry. We gave him a car that cost Rs18 lakh and expensive furniture for the house. My sister had mentioned a few times that they would harass her, but we told her to ignore them. I wish she had shared her ordeal in detail. We could have saved her,” Kuldeep sobbed.
Following a complaint by Ritu’s family, an FIR was registered against her husband, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife under sections 304B (dowry death) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
Rajeev Kumar, ACP (Udyog Vihar), said Ritu’s in-laws were absconding. “We have been conducting searches at various places. We are hopeful they will be caught soon,” he added.
Ritu also left behind a message for her sister. “I know it’s wrong, but I don’t have any other choice. Please don’t allow my sister to suffer the same fate. Don’t marry her to a family like this. It is preferable that she does not get married at all,” the message read.
Seema Misra, a lawyer, advocated the need for raising awareness against dowry. “We have IPC Section 304B, but the law is to punish the guilty. It can’t prevent the crime outright. Prevention can happen only through collective efforts on the ground, such as creating awareness in the society,” she said.
Jagmati Sangwan of the All India Democratic Women’s Association said 90% of the domestic violence cases were related to dowry in the state. “She was so troubled from within that in just three months of getting married, she felt like taking her own life. Divorce is not easy, especially for women. The word shames a woman to such an extent that she fears she won’t be accepted in the society. Women are also bearing the brunt of the financial crisis among families, who are insisting on dowry,” she added.
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