Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan raised concerns about the recent surge in the number of alleged dowry-related deaths in the state and said that stringent action will be taken against those responsible for these incidents.
"Some of the recent deaths in the state are of great concern to all of us," Vijayan said during a press conference on Tuesday.
His comments come in the backdrop of the death of a 24-year-old woman, Vismaya, who was found hanging inside her husband's house in southern Kollam district on Monday. Her husband S Kiran Kumar, an assistant motor vehicle inspector, was arrested yesterday on a complaint filed by her parents and brother, alleging that he had tortured and harassed her over dowry.
A day before the incident, Vismaya had sent WhatsApp messages to her relatives over the alleged harassment by Kumar over dowry, as also photos of wounds and marks of beatings on her body.
Her father told a TV channel that 100 sovereigns of gold and over one acre land, besides a Rs 10 lakh worth car was given as dowry to Kumar during the wedding in 2020.
But Kumar did not like the car and wanted Rs 10 lakh in cash. As he was told it was not possible, he used to torture her, the father said.
Meanwhile, another 24-year-old woman was found dead with burn injuries at her rented home where she was staying with her husband in coastal Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.
Responding to these incidents, the chief minister said he has directed the state police chief to ensure efficient functioning of Domestic Conflict Resolution Centres in all districts to prevent violence against women.
This is a system where the district police chiefs hear the complaints of women victims directly and suggest solutions online.
Vijayan said women facing dowry-related domestic violence can also approach the state police's 'Aparajitha is Online', launched to report cybercrimes against women.
He also announced the appointment of R Nishanthini as nodal officer for investigating the dowry-related complaints in the state.
Noting that it has been six decades since dowry was banned by law in the country, he flayed the prevalence of such a system in Indian society.
(With PTI inputs)