Two women allegedly killed for dowry in Sarlahi

Dowry system was criminalized in Nepal in 1976 under the Social Practices Reform Act (2033). Illustration: Nepal Live Today

NL Today

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Sarlahi: Two women have lost their lives in Sarlahi, a district in the Madhesh Province, due to alleged dowry-related incidents. The victims, Pharadawa from Haripur Municipality-3 and Laxmipur from Haripur-6, are the subjects of two recent cases of dowry-related deaths.

Ida Khatun, 23, was killed by her husband, Abdul Shah Phakir, in Pharhadawa of Haripur municipality-3. According to District Police Office Sarlahi Chief Superintendent of Police, Naresh Raj Subedi, Phakir allegedly murdered his wife, accusing her of failing to meet his dowry expectations. 

Phakir had subjected Ida to mental, emotional, and physical torture, pressuring her to convince her parents to provide him with a dowry worth Rs 100,000 in cash. After enduring the abuse, Ida sought refuge at her parents’ home and returned later to engage in discussions with both families. 

Ida’s father, Mansur Shah, said that Abdul and his family continued their torment, as their monetary demands remained unmet. Mansur Shah further said that Ida’s 5-year-old son reported to him that his mother had been killed by the family. 

During the investigation, it was observed that Ida’s body had residues of mud, and a piece of cloth had been forcefully placed in her mouth. According to her father, Ida was initially beaten to death and then hanged, attempting to stage the incident as a suicide.

Police have taken two individuals into custody in connection with the crime, and Ida’s body has been transferred to the Provincial Hospital in Sarlahi for a thorough post-mortem examination.

In a separate incident, the lifeless body of Indrakala Devi Shah, 45, was discovered by police under suspicious circumstances. Her husband, Rajaram Shah, is believed to have severely assaulted her due to unmet dowry expectations. Indrakala was not provided with medical attention and succumbed to her injuries. 

Deputy Superintendent of Police Dipendra Panjiyar, spokesperson for the District Police Office Sarlahi, informed the media that the police intervened when they learned that Indrakala’s body was being cremated without following proper legal procedures near the local Lakhandehi river. 

Police took control of the half-burnt body and sent it to the Provincial Hospital in Sarlahi for a post-mortem examination. Rajaram Shah, the suspect in the case, is currently evading arrest, and the police have taken six individuals, who participated in the cremation without fulfilling legal requirements, into custody.