Incident Reports

Scourge of dowry violence in Dhanusha


Aarati Chaudhary, who married Indrajit Chaudhary of Janakpur-14 in Dhanusha last year, filed a complaint at the District Police Office (DPO) after her husband and in-laws started to physically abuse her for failing to bring enough dowry. Aarati was three months into her marriage when her husband’s family started tormenting her over the issue of dowry. Knowing that her maternal family could not afford to meet the demands of her in-laws, Aarati filed a police complaint on December 7, 2018, stating that she was assaulted by her husband and in-laws several times in the course of her marriage.

On December 16, 2018, she was summoned by the Women’s Cell of Police at the DPO to discuss the matter. Aarati said her husband, in-laws, and even the neighbours tried to dissuade her from filing a complaint, but Aarati took a stand and refused to withdraw her case. Her case is now in the court.

Similarly, Manasi Mandal of Bideha Municipality-7 in Dhanusha also registered a complaint at the DPO on October 8, 2018. She was harassed by her husband and in-laws for failing to bring dowry. However, the Women’s Cell settled the issue after her husband and in-laws agreed to not torture Manasi in the future.

According to the Women’ Cell, 693 cases have been registered in the current fiscal year. One of the police personnel from the Women’s Cell said that most of the cases of violence against women were related to insufficient dowry. The women were subjected to physical and mental torture for failing bring in enough dowry.

“Although the practice of seeking dowry is widespread in the communities here, we registered only two dowry-related cases in the last six months. Most of the victims refrain from filing police complaints,” said Uma Shankar Sah of the DPO.

“Many women suffer from dowry-related violence in the local communities, but only a few seek justice,” said Shambhu Gautam, an attorney of the District Attorney Office, adding that dowry is the underlying cause in most cases of murder, suicide, assaults and violence against women.

According to police data, dowry is the underlying cause in most cases of murder, suicide, assaults and violence against women in Madhes.