Kin demand justice as woman’s death raises suspicionFather of 22-year-old Aarati Sah accuses her husband’s family of killing her over dowry issues. Her husband and father-in-law are in police custody.
Aarati Sah, a 22-year-old woman from Dhanusha, died under suspicious circumstances on May 21. Her family has accused her husband’s family of beating Aarati to death for not bringing enough dowry.
Motibabu Sah of Thapa Chowk in Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City-9 and Aarati of Nagarain Municipality-8 were married around two years ago. Theirs was an arranged marriage and Binod Sah, Aarati’s father, alleges his son-in-law and his family killed Aarati for not bringing enough dowry.
Motibabu’s family said Aarati was rescued and rushed to the hospital immediately after she was found hanging at home. She was pronounced dead at Kavya Hospital.
On Tuesday, Aarati’s relatives and well-wishers resorted to vandalism in Janakpur. The protesters hurled stones at the Dhanusha district court while the custodial hearing of the victim’s husband and father-in-law was underway at the court.
Motibabu and his father Madan Sah were taken into police custody a few days ago for investigation into the case.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Bed Prasad Gautam, scores of Aarati’s supporters attempted to barge into the court demanding the ‘death penalty’ for the suspects. “The security personnel were compelled to use force after the enraged protesters hurled stones and attempted to enter the court compound,” said Gautam.
A protester was taken into custody.
Police resorted to baton charges in which four demonstrators sustained injuries. A female police officer was also injured in the violent clash.
The supporters of deceased Sah have been staging demonstrations in Janakpur as well as in Kathmandu demanding justice for the victim and strong action against the guilty. They accuse the police of not investigating the case sincerely with the intention to free the suspects.
Aarati’s father, Binod Sah, his mother, brother, sister, maternal uncle and some other relatives came to Kathmandu on June 16 to pressure the authority for a fair investigation into the case. They have been staging a sit-in protest at Maitighar, Kathmandu, demanding action against the guilty.
According to Binod, he had provided Rs2.5 million cash to Motilal’s family two years ago at the time of her wedding as dowry. “The husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law and brother-in-law had been torturing my daughter for not bringing more dowry. It was not suicide. They murdered her,” he said, demanding a fair investigation into the case.
Meanwhile, the single bench of judge Ram Prasad Neupane remanded Motibabu and Madan into judicial custody following the court hearing on Tuesday.
A team from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police started an investigation into the case. The team is now in Janakpur. According to the District Police Office in Dhanusha, the CIB team has not disclosed any information since the case is still under investigation.
A medical team in Janakpur Provincial Hospital carried out a postmortem of the deceased on May 22. The postmortem report says that the victim died by hanging and it could be a suicide. The report mentions that the victim sustained deep injuries on her cheek.