Bhubaneswar: A petition was filed with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Sunday seeking justice for a 25-year-old newly-wed woman who died under mysterious circumstances over alleged demand for dowry in Cuttack Friday.
In his petition (Diary No. 6588/IN/2019), rights activist Himansu Sekhar Nayak has urged the apex rights body to issue a directive to the Chief Secretary to pay Rs 12 lakh compensation to the family of the victim — Laxmipriya Swain who died June 7. And submit a compensation disbursal proof with the Commission before the next hearing, the petitioner said.
This apart, Nayak has sought for an order to the director general of police (DGP) to initiate stringent action against the person(s) found guilty and submit an Action Taken Report with NHRC within four weeks.
According to the case details, it was a love-cum-arranged marriage for Laxmipriya of Gandhipalli under Chauliaganj police limits and Sujit Guru (27) of Sikharpur area in Cuttack. “The duo married May 12. Laxmipriya’s family had given Rs 60,000 in cash and jewellery apart from household items as dowry to Gurus’ family during the wedding. This wasn’t all. A few days later, Sujit’s family demanded a motorcycle and some more cash. Expressing financial incapacity, Laxmipriya’s father, however, denied. Soon after, they (Laxmipriya’s in-laws) started harassing her,” Nayak informed the Commission referring to the police complaint.
It was around 10 am Friday when a perturbed Laxmipriya called up her brother asking him to reach her in-laws’ place as soon as possible. However, by the time her brother Jitendra reached Laxmipriya’s in-laws’ place around 12 noon he learnt that his sister had taken poison and that she had been rushed to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack (SCBMCH) for treatment, the petitioner said quoting the police complaint.
After reaching SCB, Jitendra was taken aback as he discovered his sister lying lifeless. “At a time when Laxmipriya’s in-laws claim that she had taken poison, Jitendra, however, is said to have spotted some strangulation marks on the victim’s neck, which, according to him, hints at that fact that she was strangled to death,” the petitioner said quoting Jitendra.
It was in the afternoon, when Jitendra approached the Chauliaganj police which registered a case (177/19) under Sections 304A, 498B and 334 of the IPC, and DP Act 4 before arresting Sujit, his mother Rebati Guru (50), and father Pramod Guru (55).
Meanwhile, Chauliaganj inspector in-charge Dipak Mishra said they are waiting for the post-mortem report as it would help decide the actual cause of death and thus the future course of action.