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Evils of dowry system in Punjab

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Dowry victim seeks justice

Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service


Jagraon, November 20

A 25-year-old woman, mother of three young children, was forcibly made to drink kerosene and a bid was made to set her on fire for not bringing sufficient dowry. Ms Jaswinder Kaur, married to Paramjit Singh of Aitiana village, was saved by sheer providence. When her in-laws were just going to set her ablaze on November 1, her father reached their house and saved her. She was rushed to the Civil Hospital at Raikot, where the doctors washed her stomach and treated her. Now she is staying with her parents at Jalaldiwal village, near Raikot, with her two children and is battling for justice.

The medico-legal report, in her possession, says she was smelling of kerosene, had consumed around 15 ml of the oil and had suffered blows on her abdomen. She had been admitted to the hospital for four days.

She alleged that while she had filed her complaint at two police stations, Jalaldiwal and Raikot, and a case was also registered, the accused had not been arrested so far. She had met the SSP of Jagraon, who she claimed had assured her of justice.

Narrating her shocking tale of torture, Ms Jaswinder, tears rolling down her cheeks, said she was married to Paramjit Singh and her father had given every household item to her in dowry. ‘‘My father had not given me a scooter and they had been demanding it for the last six years, besides Rs 50,000. We even got a house built in my husband’s name, but it failed to make them happy,’’ said Jaswinder.

Her in-laws had taken her 5-year-old son with them. After the registration of the case, her in-laws, along with her eldest son, had gone into hiding.

Mr Tirlok Singh, the father of the victim, said, ‘‘It was on November 1 that I was going to the house of my daughter. Little had I thought that this was the time she needed me most. When I reached there, I saw she had managed to escape from the clutches of her husband and was vomitting. He was stinking of kerosene. I took her to the Civil Hospital. My daughter had been telling me that she was being tortured by her husband for more dowry. I could never imagine that he would go to the extent of killing her.’’

Ms Jaswinder is the eldest of the three children of Mr Tirlok Singh. He had paid money to a travel agent for preparing the papers of Ms Jaswinder’s husband. ‘‘I loved him like my own son. I am doing everything for these children. Blinded by the greed for dowry, he almost killed my daughter,’’ he added.


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