Husband, parents-in-law arrested in burning death of Indian woman, child
Motive behind double murder is suspected to be dowry-related
The husband and parents-in-law have been arrested in the burning deaths of a young Indian bride and her baby girl. The suspected motive behind the January 30 attack is suspected to be dowry-related. Jharkhand state police superintendent N.K. Mishra says that these allegations have been made by the parents of the dead woman.
Both mother and daughter were rushed to the nearest hospital -- but doctors declared them dead on arrival.
The one-year-old child died instantly while the mother later died of her injuries in a hospital, police said. A court has since sent the three suspects to jail to await trial, Mishra says.
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Raghuni Rana, Devi's father told police, that "They wanted a son, but didn't realize that giving birth to a girl was not Devi's fault.
"They started harassing and torturing her 'till things reached this pass when they decided to end her life."
Her father also added, "Now they were demanding a TV set and a motorcycle. I had already given them two bighas (1.6 acres) of land in dowry."
To pass off her murder as an accident, the accused made the badly burned Devi sit beside a fireplace and placed a water container over it. Early in the morning on January 30, a neighbor saw Devi and her daughter lying in a courtyard at the house, still alive despite suffering 90 percent burns.
Both mother and daughter were rushed to the nearest hospital. Doctors declared them dead on arrival.
When asked if the murder could have spurred on by the birth of a baby girl, Mishra said: "That could be a factor. But it was mainly for dowry. Her family has said in their complaint she was harassed for money and other things." She had married three years ago, Mishra said.
Dowry has long been banned in India, but giving expensive "gifts" to the grooms and their relatives at weddings hosted by the brides' families remains a common practice in the country.
Police across India registered 8,233 murders of women as dowry deaths in 2012, according to national crime data.
Devi's brother-in-law, who has also been accused in the police complaint, is still at large.
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