The incident took place at 5 p.m. on 28 October. According to the deceased Harita’s statement, recorded on the same day, her husband’s family dowsed her with kerosene and then set her on fire. Harita, who was admitted to the Mahoba District Hospital in a critical condition was immediately referred to the Jhansi District Hospital where she passed away on 30 October.
Harita’s mother Sahodra said, ‘Harita got married in 2000 to Susheel Dubey. We tried to give as much as possible to the boy and his family at the time of the wedding, but Harita’s husband, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law Arvind would often hit her for bringing less dowry with her. Four years ago, we even filed a case of dowry harassment against them. After a few days, Harita’s husband Susheel reached an agreement with her and took her back to live in their house.’
Harita is survived by her 10-year old daughter, Mahima. Mahima also witnessed the abuse inflicted on her mother. She said, ‘My father and grandmother had been harassing my mother for the past week. They weren’t giving her food to eat. I had just returned from school when they set my mother on fire.’
Police Inspector Shree Prakash Rai at the Mahoba Police Station said that Harita’s parents had filed an F.I.R., based on which Harita’s mother-in-law Halki and husband Susheel had been booked under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. They were taken into police custody on 4 November and are currently behind bars.
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