In her suicide note, the Pharmacy student wrote that her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law were opposed to her studying,
and often harassed her for dowry
Fed up with constant harassment from her in-laws over her wish to study, and their demands for dowry, a 24-year-old woman committed suicide on Friday after killing her toddler son first.
Identified as Sheetal Raju Khenat (24) and Aarav Khenat (1.5), the mother-son duo were admitted to Bharti Vidyapeeth Hospital on Friday afternoon to treat poison consumption, but died on Saturday morning at around 5 am.
Sheetal — a diploma student of Pharmacy at Jaywant Shikshak Prasarak Mandal Institute — lived in Shivraj Park society, in the Bharti Vidyapeeth area, near Katraj. A murder case has been registered at the Bharti Vidyapeeth police station, while another case of dowry death has also been registered against Sheetal’s in-laws under section 304B of the Indian Penal Code.
Assistant Police Inspector S R Karnur, investigating officer in the case, said, “A suicide note was found written by Sheetal, in which she blamed her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law for harassing her for dowry, and putting pressure on her to bring money from her father to continue her higher education.”
In her suicide note written in Marathi, Sheetal has said, “I am committing suicide, as I can’t bear the harassment from Rukmini, Komal and Manisha Khenat anymore. I am taking my child along with me.”
The police have arrested Sheetal’s mother-in-law Rukmini Sitaram Khenat (55), while her sisters-in-law Manisha Sitaram Khenat and Komal Ajit Khenat are absconding. Her husband, Raju Khenat, owns a shop in the same building in which the family resides. They had been married since June 7, 2011.
“Raju had seen Sheetal going to her college on Friday morning. She returned home at around 2.15 pm and asked him to bring a top from a tailor on Laxmi road. At around 3.30 pm, Raju’s brother Ajit called on his mobile and informed him that Sheetal was not opening her bedroom door, and that the child was crying,” said API Karnur He added, “Raju immediately began to make his way home.
Midway, he again got a call from Ajit saying they had broken the door and Sheetal and Aarav were found lying
in the bedroom after consuming poison. Ajit asked Raju to reach Bharti Vidyapeeth Hospital, where the duo had been admitted for medical treatment.”
Sheetal’s father, Baban Katke (56), who lodged a dowry death complaint against her in-laws, said, “Sheetal and Raju’s marital life was going well for the first six months. Later on, her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law started harassing her for dowry.
They were opposed to her pursuing higher education, and would put pressure on her to bring money from us. We had found a similar note written by Sheetal to her husband about the harassment, but at that time, we had convinced Sheetal and her in-laws to resolve the issue.”