Woman commits suicide, in-laws booked after parents stall funeral

Relatives of a 21-year-old woman finally agreed to conduct her last rites after cops from Lohegaon police station registered a complaint against her husband and parents-in-law. The deceased’s family had alleged that police were not taking action against the accused, and so they had decided to not to take her body from the mortuary at Sassoon Hospital. 

Sanjay and Pushpa Khandale
Battle for justice: Sanjay and Pushpa Khandale with the photo of their daughter Shubhangi Lokhande, who committed suicide

According to relatives, Shubhangi Lokhande had consumed poison on July 1 and was later admitted to Sassoon Hospital. “My daughter had complained about harassment by the her in-laws. They had also demanded some money to buy another home for the couple. They weren’t giving her much time to meet us; whenever she came over, her husband would accompany her. So it was very difficult for her to talk about the harassment,” alleged Pushpa Khandale, the deceased’s mother. Shubhangi married Raviraj Lokhande, resident of Bhukan Vasti, Lohegaon around 14 months ago. 

Sources say Shubhangi had consumed poison at about 8 am on July 1 and her in-laws shifted her to hospital around noon. “When I asked my daughter at the hospital what had happened, she was not in a condition to communicate,” said her mother. “Her in-laws started demanding money after the marriage was fixed. We did spend a lot of money on the wedding. But after that they started asking for more cash to get another home for the couple. I was ready to do even that, but before I could take any steps, this happened,” informed Shubhangi’s father Sanjay Khandale, who is a rickshaw driver by profession.” Meanwhile, the deceased’s aunt Anita Patole alleged that cops weren’t supportive. “They were taking her statement when she was not in a condition to speak. But the constable wrote that she drank the poison assuming it was a medicine for headache,” she said.

Commenting on the issue, Subhash Chavan, sub-inspector of Lohegaon police station, said,“We have registered a case against Shubhangi’s husband Raviraj Lokhande, father-in-law Chandrakant Lokhande and mother-in-law Smeeta Lokhande under sections 498 A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 306 (abetment of suicide), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).” “We have registered a case against Shubhangi’s in-laws and will probe the case. Her relatives too have agreed to take her body for the last rites,” informed Sunil Gharge, police inspector (crime). 

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