Guwahati, Sept. 27: A four-year-long wait of a dowry victim’s father to see those responsible for his daughter’s death brought to justice ended on Wednesday with a local court convicting all the accused.
The victim’s husband, Kushal Das, his mother Abala Das and his sister Lila Das were sentenced to seven years of imprisonment after the court held them guilty of harassing the deceased, Anjali Das, with dowry demands and driving her to commit suicide at their Noonmati residence on September 18, 2008.
District and sessions judge, Kamrup, R.K. Phukan convicted the trio yesterday under Section 304B (dowry death) and Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention) of IPC.
Barely four months after her marriage, Anjali’s body was found hanging by a chadar at her in-laws’ house at Bishnurabha Nagar in Noonmati. The couple had got married on May 2, 2008.
Suren Das, father of the deceased, alleged that his daughter was physically and mentally harassed, leading to her death under “mysterious circumstances” after he failed to give her in-laws more dowry.
According to him, soon after marrying his daughter, Kushal demanded a television set and a fan and he somehow fulfilled the demand. Then the accused demanded Rs 50,000 in cash, which Das could not give because of his poor financial position, as a result of which Kushal started harassing his daughter and did not allowed her to visit her parents.
Das, who is a resident of Madhabpur in Noonmati, suspected that his daughter might not have committed suicide, but was murdered by her husband and in-laws.
Based on an FIR lodged by Das, a case was registered at Noonmati police station and the three accused were subsequently arrested.
The court, however, ruled that Anjali had hanged herself as she was “subjected to cruelty”. The judge found no merit in the argument of the defence counsel that there was no consistent and persistent demand for dowry.
“The charges under Section 304B and 34 of IPC are proved beyond all reasonable doubts against all the accused persons and they are liable to be punished,” the judge said in her order.
All the accused prayed for leniency, particularly Abala Das, who is 70.
“The crime being of serious nature, there is no scope to deal the matter with leniency. Each of the convicts is sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years. However, considering the age of Abala Das, she is sentenced to simple imprisonment for the period,” the judge said.
The prosecution cross-examined 14 witnesses in order to prove the charges brought against the accused.