Murder charges against husband, mother over forced starvation that claimed woman's life

Murder charges against husband, mother over forced starvation that claimed woman's life
Thsuhara was allegedly denied proper food for days and survived only on soaked rice and sugar syrup at her husband's home in Oyur.
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Kollam: The police on Monday invoked murder charges against the accused in the suspected dowry death of a 27-year-old woman in Oyoor, near here, last week. Preliminary investigations had revealed that the Thushara was subjected to dowry harassment by her husband Chanthu Lal and mother-in-law Geetha Lal for the past two years.

Thushara, daughter of Thulasidharan and Vijayalakshmi, from Ayanivelikkulangara, Karunagappally, died on the night of March 21.

She was allegedly denied proper food for days and survived only on soaked rice and sugar syrup before she breathed her last at a government hospital in Kollam, weighed just 20kg at the time of her death. The autopsy report confirmed that there were several blunt forced injuries on her body, shedding light on the sufferings she had undergone.

The Kerala Women's Commission has sought a report from the police on the gruesome incident. The two were remanded in police custody on Friday.

Meanwhile, Thushara's family has demanded the custody of her two children who are currently under the care of the District Child Welfare Committee.

Punishable by death

Section 304(B) of the Indian Penal Code stipulates that a death of a woman within seven years of her marriage with evidence of cruelty or harassment by her husband or his relatives is a ‘dowry death’ and punishable with imprisonment for not less than seven years. The police decided to register a case under Section 302, which is the penal section for murder, after evidence unearthed so far indicated the murder was a planned one. 

The couple has two girl children aged one-and-a-half and three-and-a-half years.

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