Bengaluru has gotten the unwanted distinction of being the metropolitan city with the most number of dowry-harassment cases. The data on crimes in 2018, released recently by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), shows that India’s IT capital accounted for 81 percent of the dowry-harassment cases in 19 metropolitan cities in the country.
In all, 692 cases were registered in the city under the Dowry Prohibition Act (1961), in 2018. Lucknow was second on the list with 66 cases.
“My sister was continually nagged for dowry after her marriage. Her in-laws started harassing her when we could not give what they had asked for in dowry”, said the brother of one of the victims of dowry, who did not wish to be named.
“They wanted a cupboard, scooter, and fridge. We filed a case against them. My sister was subjected to domestic violence by her husband. I have to come to the court weekly for the hearings,” he added.
Commissioner of Police, Bhaskar Rao, while calling the dowry-system “heinous”, said, “It is unfortunate that we have this unwanted distinction. Owing to our workload, we don’t have a wing dedicated exclusively to dowry-related crimes. The city should come together to solve this problem.”The death toll due to dowry-harassment in the city was 53, the highest among all the cities in south India.
Mr. Bhaskar D, CEO of Vidyaranya, an organisation for women’s, children’s and senior citizens’ rights, said, “The woman, who has been the victim of dowry-harassment, and her family, mentally suffer a lot. Many of them prefer to hide the injustice done to them. One of the ways we can curb dowry-practice is through awareness drives on a very large scale.
“Zero-tolerance policy towards such crimes is also necessary. Offenders get away because there is no thorough investigation. A strict enforcement against dowry harassment cases must be passed.”
The highest number of deaths due to dowry-harassment took place in Delhi. In 2018, the death-toll was 137.