Bengal: Woman, infant girl child burnt alive for dowry

Kolkata: A 25-year-old homemaker and her nine-month-old daughter were burnt to death, allegedly by the woman’s husband and his parents, at Dangapara village in the Sagardighi area of Bengal’s Murshidabad district on August 19.
Sumitra Kundu’s family lodged a police complaint on Monday night, alleging that Tapas Kundu, the husband, committed the murders solely because the couple had three daughters.
Avaya, the youngest one, was charred to death. Sumitra is survived by Diya and Lakshmi, aged 4 and 2 respectively.
Sumitra’s family has alleged that Tapas had been demanding Rs 50,000 although he was paid a fat dowry during marriage. The police complaint says that Tapas Kundu’s father Amal Kundu and mother Anita tortured Sumitra.
“Police initially refused to accept our complaint and the delay gave the Kundus enough time to flee the village,” alleged Asish Mondal, Sumitra’s brother. Police could not arrest the accused till August 21 afternoon.
Sub-divisional police officer (Jangipur) Prasenjit Banerjee said, “I was not aware of the incident. The administration will ensure that the victim’s family gets justice.”
The murders have shocked residents. Murshidabad, where density of population is very high, happens to be one of the districts where chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Kanyashree’ project for girl children is being given priority by the government.
Sumitra, a resident of Bangsia village in Sagardighi, married Tapas Kundu from Dangapara village in 2010. She gave birth to three daughters in seven years and this virtually ruined her life, her family has complained to the police. She was regularly tortured by her husband for not bearing a son. Things got worse after Avaya was born nine months ago.
It is alleged that the couple had a quarrel on August 19 morning following which Tapas set his wife and Avaya on fire after locking them in the bed room. The neighbors heard their shrieks and came to the rescue. Sumitra and her daughter were taken to Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital where they died on August 19 night.
“At the time of marriage, we gave Tapas a motorized rickshaw, Rs.70,0000 in cash and some gold jewels as dowry. Recently he demanded Rs 50,000 from our father Hiran Mondal,” Asish Mondal said.
“My father is very poor. He was in no position to meet the demand. As a result, my sister faced brutal torture. Her torment increased after Avaya was born nine months ago. Tapas and his parents used to torture my didi for giving birth to three girls but we never thought they would kill her,” Mondal added.

- Advertisement -