Hours before her dowry death, father asked victim not to leave in-laws' house

One phone call could have saved 29-year-old Madhu Yadav’s life. That call was never made. On Monday night, the marketing professional with a leading media house was murdered by her in-laws. Hours before, Madhu had tried calling her sister Mamta (30), who is an associate professor with a city-based college. Poor phone reception defeated that effort. 

Strangled by nuptial knot! Doctors say the cause of death was compression to Madhu’s neck. Her husband and his parents have been arrested

“A day before the incident, Madhu had called us to inform that she was leaving her in-laws house because of harassment. She was trying to get in touch with me, but since I have no network at my home, Madhu called up my father in Delhi,” said Mamta. According to Madhu’s family members, she was weeping incessantly over the phone and appeared to be in a terrible state of mind. Her father advised her to remain in the New Panvel (West) house of her in-laws, till they came to pick her up.

Next morning, the family received a call stating that Madhu had committed suicide. “Sameep (the victim’s husband) phoned me and asked to come to Mumbai. As I listened, I asked only one question to him: ‘Have you killed my Madhu?’” said CH Yadav, the deceased’s father. Yadav is a commandant in Indian Navy and is at present posted in New Delhi. When her relatives saw Madhu’s body, they found certain marks on her neck. Medical reports finally confirmed she was murdered and an FIR was registered.

Kalamboli police on Tuesday arrested the husband and in-laws of the victim after Madhu’s father registered a complaint alleging that his daughter was harassed and killed. The arrested persons have been identified as the victim’s husband Sameep (33), his father Akhilesh (60), who is a retired ONGC director, and mother Sunita (58).

The incident is said to have taken place in the Osho Kabir Building at Khanda Colony in New Panvel (West). All the accused have been booked under sections 302 (murder), 304-B (subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death), 498-A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 34 (acts done by several persons) of the Indian Penal Code. The medical report, found that cause of death was compression to Madhu’s neck.

According to cops, Madhu and Sameep met each other on a matrimonial website. On May 1, 2011 they tied the knot at Lonavala. Sameep works as an area sales manager with a multinational bank at Bhandup. After two months of the marriage, her in-laws started calling Madhu’s office every day, making inquiries about her work schedule and salary. They would also ask what time she came in and what time she left the office. Inspector Tambe of Kalamboli police station said, “The accused have still not confessed to the crime. They maintain that the victim has committed suicide.” Madhu’s relatives allege that on several occasions her in-laws insulted her parents. Her father-in-law Akhilesh Yadav, who hails from Bihar and is a self-proclaimed social worker, was allegedly demanding a car from her family, and told them to sell their house in Delhi to secure finances.  

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