Last October, Elabanta Naskar sold off land to raise dowry and get his 18-year-old daughter Gouri married to Dum Dum resident Subhajit Naskar. He desperately wanted to see her happily settled.
Late on Monday, he was left holding the lifeless body of his daughter, who died in a south Calcutta nursing home months after an abortion allegedly forced by her husband and performed by a quack. Both were arrested on Tuesday.
'Gouri Naskar died on Monday night. A complaint was lodged with Dum Dum police station alleging that an abortion had been carried out without her consent. After the procedure, she suffered secondary infection, and her condition had kept deteriorating,' said Ranvir Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters).
In October 2004, Elabanta, a resident of Joynagar, in South 24-Parganas, had coughed up Rs 50,000 in cash, gold ornaments and a motorcycle, allegedly demanded by Subhajit's family. It had not mattered to the father that Subhajit, 22, was still a student, as he believed he could make Gouri happy.
Two months after Gouri moved into Subhajit's Nalta home on Mahajati Road, she was pregnant. But when she broke the news to her husband, he was upset, her family members recounted on Tuesday.
'Subhajit did not want the child. Without informing anyone at home, he urged Gouri to accompany him on December 31 to S.N. Mirdha, a medical practitioner known in the area as a quack,' said Gouri's uncle Subrata Rana. Inside Mirdha's 'chamber', Gouri was allegedly gagged and her hands and legs fastened.
An abortion was forcefully carried out while she was fully conscious.
When she kept bleeding for four days, Subhajit took her back to Mirdha, who claimed the previous attempt to abort the child had failed and went on to repeat the procedure.
Gouri continued to bleed and suffer pain and high fever, but Subhajit refused to seek medical help. Finally, on January 8, alarmed at Gouri's condition, he told her family members that she was 'unwell'.
Elabanta and sister Subhadra Rana first rushed Gouri to a local municipality-run health centre, which referred her to a hospital, from where she was shifted to Nilratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital.
When a surgery failed to improve her condition, Gouri was admitted on February 24 to a private nursing home in south Calcutta. Another surgery revealed serious internal injuries. On Monday night, Gouri lost consciousness and could not be revived.