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Dowry calls, US to Malda

Malda, June 13: A man doing his PhD in Virginia University has been accused by his wife in Malda of torturing her for dowry and marrying another woman in the US.

Malda police have approached the Centre to bring back Rajeev Prasad, who hails from Singatala in South Dinajpur. He has been booked under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (cruelty to wife by husband or his relatives) and an arrest warrant has been issued against him.

“We have sent the papers to the appropriate authorities to ensure that Prasad’s passport and visa are cancelled and he is brought back to India to face the charges,” Malda police superintendent Dilip Mondal said.

Prasad had got a bachelor’s degree in veterinary sciences from Calcutta and did his MSc from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.

He married Sumita Bhagat (name changed) of Maheshpur in Englishbazar on August 19, 2004. The same year, he left for Virginia University to do a PhD in microbiology.

Sumita’s father, who works in the irrigation department, lodged a complaint with Englishbazar police a year ago, saying his son-in-law had been putting pressure on him to pay a dowry of Rs 10 lakh. The complaint said Prasad made several calls from the US demanding the money.

Sumita’s father also alleged that Prasad was torturing his daughter mentally. Last year, when Prasad came to India, he had reportedly asked Sumita to either pay up or agree to a divorce.

After Sumita’s family got to know about his second marriage in the US, her father sought the help of Congress MP Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury, who took him to the police superintendent today.

Prasad’s widowed mother and brother refused comment.

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