Two days after a female medical student's suicide shocked the consciousness of the state, police on Thursday took into custody a doctor who had allegedly backed out of their marriage proposal recently as her family couldn't meet the demand for hefty dowry.
Shahana (26), a postgraduate student in the surgery department of the Government Medical College here, was found unconscious at her apartment and later declared brought dead at the hospital on Tuesday.
Shahana allegedly took the extreme step as she was depressed due to a big dowry sought by the groom's family, her family alleged.
Based on their statements, Ruwais, her friend who is also a post graduate doctor in the College, was taken into custody from Karunagappally early today, police said.
"We have taken him into custody based on the statements of the victim's family. He is being interrogated," a senior officer told PTI.
He said a case of unnatural death was registered soon after the woman doctor's death. Sections of abetment to suicide and Dowry Prohibition Act were added based on the statements of Dr Shahana's family, he added.
"We have to check the veracity of various statements we have recorded. Further proceedings including his arrest will be decided only after that," the officer said.
On Wednesday, the government had ordered a probe into the death of Shahana after allegations of dowry related issues causing the suicide cropped up.
Health Minister Veena George directed the director of the Women and Child Development Department to carry out a probe and submit a report regarding this.
The state Minority Commission also intervened into the issue and initiated a case on its own based on media reports in this regard.
Its Chairperson A A Rasheed directed the district collector, city police commissioner and director of medical education to appear before the Commission during its next sitting here on December 14 and submit a report on the incident.
State Women's Commission Chairperson P Sathidevi visited Shahana's residence in nearby Venjaramoodu and consoled her mother on Wednesday.
The victim's father, who was working in the Middle East, died recently.
Expressing grief and concern over the alleged suicide of the young doctor, Sathidevi said stringent measures should be taken if the mental agony caused due to dowry had forced her to take the extreme step.
The women's panel chairperson also said youngsters should be prepared to say no to marriages involving dowry.
People close to the deceased's family had alleged that Shahana was depressed as her friend had backed out of their marriage citing dowry as the reason.
Though Shahana's family was ready to give dowry, the groom's family had later demanded a heftier amount which the former was unable to meet, a local councillor alleged.
"They demanded a huge amount as dowry and later backed out from the proposal. Dr Shahana was depressed over that," the councillor alleged.
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