Mumbai hits shameful housewife suicide hat-trick

Published: Apr 24, 2011, 07:23 IST | Sayed Roshan

Three suicides in two months is the shocking tally now as a third suicide due to dowry harassment has emerged in a Kandivali chawl on Friday. The housewife hung herself two weeks ago; in-laws are absconding

Three suicides in two months is the shocking tally now as a third suicide due to dowry harassment has emerged in a Kandivali chawl on Friday. The housewife hung herself two weeks ago; in-laws are absconding

Suicides due to dowry harassment by in laws have been piling up over the last few months. Since March, Mumbai has already seen two such suicides, and third one came to light on Friday when the family members of Preeti Singh, a 24 year-old housewife who committed suicide two weeks ago, filed an FIR against her in-laws.


Two weeks ago, Kandivali Preeti Singh committed suicide at her home
in Sai Krupa Chawl (pictured alongside).
Pic/ Nimesh Dave

Unlike the other two cases which involved middle class housewives, Singh was living in a chawl at Kandivali.
Her family, which resides in Kalyan, claimed she was being harassed for dowry over the five years and was struggling to deal with the abuse. Singh committed suicide by hanging herself in her home in sai Krupa Chawl in Janupada in Kandivali (East) . 

In their statement to the police, the victim's family said the incident occurred two weeks ago where Singh was residing with her husband and in-laws. An FIR has been filed against Preeti's husband Ravindra Pratap Singh (28), her father-in-law Rambali Singh (60), and mother-in-law Vimla Singh (50). The police have launched a search to arrest the absconding family members.

Residents of the chawl vouch for the fact that the family was ridden with strife. "There were frequent fights between family members but we did not know what the reason behind them was," says a neighbour on the condition of anonymity. According to Manda Narute, Police Inspector at the Samta Nagar police station, a case has been registered and investigations are on.

"We have registered a case under Section 498 (I), 306 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. Further investigations will take place when the accused Ravindra Singh, Rambali Singh and Vimla Singh are arrested." In similar cases of harassment that have grabbed headlines over the past two months, 32 year-old Chartered Accountant, Nidhi Gupta, committed suicide with her two children on March 8. She jumped off the 19th floor of her suburban Malad building after hurling her six-year-old son and three-year-old daughter.

Gupta's parents alleged that she was being tortured, and lodged a police case against five people. Later, her husband Pawan Gupta and sister-in-law Sunita were arrested on charges of abetment to suicide and dowry harassment. The second case occurred on April 17 when Dipti Chauhan, a housewife from Dahisar jumped off the seventh floor terrace of her building after hurling Siddhu, her six year-old son, first. The two died on the spot. Chauhan's family filed a FIR alleging she was harassed by her in-laws, and the police consequently arrested Dipti's husband, father-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law for abetment to suicide.

If it happened to you, here's who to go to for help
> You can approach the local police station or call on 103, which is a women in distress helpline. There are several NGOs that can offer you help too:
> Protect Indian Family is an NGO support group for misused domestic violence and dowry law as well as for victims of misused gender biased laws.
Call: 9869323538 / 9224335577 
> You can log on to http://www.498a.org/ to understand how to cope with dowry-related issues.
> Log on to http://www.mumbai77.com/ pages/women-helplines-mumbai/help for a comprehensive list of all helplines available.

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