Banda: Man Shoots Wife Over Dowry, Booked for Homicide ‘Not Amounting to Murder’

A man in Uttar Pradesh’s Banda district surrendered at the Baberu Kotwali a day after allegedly shooting his wife over dowry. Babbu, who surrendered on June 29, has been arrested with his parents who have been accused of killing his wife Lakshmi. Babbu and Laxmi were married for two years and lived in Badauli village in Baberu block. Babbu and his parents, however, have been booked under Section 304 that brings the case under culpable homicide not amounting to murder, other than Section 498 of dowry act.

While the accused Babbu says that his wife shot herself with a pistol in the house, the deceased’s father has a different story to tell. Lakshmi’s father Ramsajeevan says Babbu’s family had been tormenting his daughter for not getting enough dowry money.

‘They got married in June 2013. Soon after marriage, the in-laws began demanding for a car. When we could not fulfill their demands, they would beat my daughter … On 28 June afternoon, I got a call from Babbu saying that Lakshmi has created a ruckus in the house and I should take her home. When I spoke to other people in the neighborhood on phone, they said my daughter has died,’ a distraught Ramsajeevan said.

‘I came to her house only to find out that she had been shot in the head,’ added the father who hails from Samagara village in Baberu block.

The case from Baberu is a sordid reminder of the callousness and impunity that still surrounds the practice of and legal action against dowry in regions of the country, for example in Bundelkhand. Even as the campaign against dowry has grown over the last one decade – supported by stricter laws – the number of dowry deaths across the country have only increased. The number of cases of dowry death report from all across the country rose from around 6800 cases in 2001 to 8200 cases in 2012. Uttar Pradesh had the maximum number of dowry deaths to report from 2001 to 2012 – with over 23,000 cases reported in twelve years. The conviction rate for dowry cases remained at 50 percent in UP during this period. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Banda district in the state has an average of reporting 23 cases of dowry deaths every year.

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