TT, Malda, May 13: A 21-year-old housewife was scalded allegedly by her husband and in-laws today as she expressed her inability to bring Rs 50,000 from her family as dowry.
Doctors treating Rehana Biwi said she had suffered around 70 per cent burns and her condition was critical.
According to the victim’s brother Arjaul Sheikh, Azad and his family members poured boiled water on Rehana this morning causing serious burn injuries .
“Since Rehana’s marriage, her husband and her in-laws would often torture her and demand that she bring money from us. At the time of marriage we had given Rs 15,000, gold ornaments and some other valuables to Azad but he was demanding Rs 50,000 more from us,” said Arjaul.
Azad, a resident of Moulpur village in Malda, around 8km from here, is a day wage labourer.
“We belong to a poor family and could not collect money. So, Rehana’s husband #and his family members subjected my sister to severe torture,” Arjaul added.
According to Rehana’s neighbours, she was cooking in the kitchen this morning and had put a pot of water on the hearth to cook rice.
“The couple had an altercation over dowry and Azad started beating her. Suddenly, he took the pot of boiling water and poured it on Rehana. As she cried for help, Azad and her family members fled the village,” said a neighbour.
The neighbours rushed Rehana to the Malda Medical College and Hospital where she was admitted to the burns unit.
According to sources, Rehana, a resident of Jotepur village in Old Malda, got married to Azad Sheikh, 34, five years back. The couple have a three-year-old daughter and a nine-month-old son.
Arjaul has filed a complaint at Old Malda police station against Azad, his father and another member of the family.
“We want them to be punished. They had tried to kill my sister for money,” the brother said.
“We have started a probe. Our officers are in search of the victim’s husband and his family members,” said Sayed Walkar Raja, the superintendent of police, Malda.
Six get lifer
The additional district judge (fourth) court of Malda, Somnath Chakraborty, on Friday sentenced six persons, including two women, to life imprisonment for killing a housewife over dowry.
According to Iqbal Alam Afza, the prosecution lawyer, Nirmala Roy, 25, a housewife was assaulted and strangled to death by her husband Swaminath Roy, 36, and five other members of his family, on August 18, 2009.
Nirmala, a resident of a village in Bihar’s Katihar, and Swaminath had got married in 2001 and had a five-year-old son. Apart from Swaminath, his parents were also awarded the life sentence.