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Dowry death in nuptial bed

May 18: For every Nisha Sharma, there is a Madhubala Prasad.

Twenty-year-old Madhubala was found dead in her nuptial bed, lying amid flowers that were still fresh, the morning after the reception held by the groom’s family.

When one of Madhubala’s relatives burst into her room on suspicion that something was amiss, he found her in bed, bruised and carrying blood marks. The previous night, none of her relatives, not even father Dukh Haran Prasad, was allowed to meet her at the reception in the groom’s house in Jamshedpur.

Prasad, an officer of Central Coalfield Limited in Hazaribagh, revealed that Madhu had called him a day after the marriage, which took place on Wednesday, asking him to arrange Rs 3 lakh. “I did not refuse to pay, neither did I accept the demand. Perhaps I took it all a bit too casually,” he said.

Madhubala’s marriage to Abhimanyu, the son of Kailash Mahto, who owns a market complex in Jamshedpur and ayurvedic clinics, was fixed after almost a year of negotiation. The dowry was settled at Rs 4.51 lakh in cash and a Maruti Alto. Prasad said he had given both.

Police have arrested Kailash and Abhimanyu. He said he was ignorant of the circumstances of his wife’s death. “I was sleeping in an adjacent room and cannot say how she died.”

As Nisha, the Delhi girl who called off her marriage because of a dowry demand, was being felicitated today by minister of state for home I.D. Swami for her courageous decision, Madhubala’s body had been submitted to the scalpel for post-mortem.

And Ruksana, also 20, had not submitted herself to silence. A resident of Old Delhi, she broke through its walls to file a complaint against her in-laws for refusing to accept her because her parents could not pay the dowry they wanted.

Police have arrested her father-in-law Mohammad Taki.

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