The family initially took a loan for the wedding and after repaying the loan off in March, they took another loan to pay the dowry. As a compensation, they paid one extra lakh too. “Since we could not give the Rs 2 lakh after three years, our family members decided to pay Rs 1 lakh extra to compensate for the delay. And so, we took a loan of Rs 3 lakh, which will get sanctioned this month. Our family had decided to go in person to their house and give this amount. But that was when we received the tragic news of her death. We have given a request to the Childline authorities to grant us custody of the children (4 years and 2 years old). The process is still going on,” said her aunt.
Little did they know that this would be the fate of their daughter. Thushara, a mother of two kids, breathed her last on March 21st, 2019. She was physically tortured, mentally abused, locked in a room, starved and reportedly kept under a “black magic spell” by her husband and mother-in-law. “We had promised to give Rs 2 lakh as dowry in three years, but they started torturing her in the third month itself,” her aunt said. She further added, “That was also when our means of communication and any interaction with Thushara were disconnected. Chandulal took away her phone. When we contacted him, he used to make excuses to not let her talk to us.”
Even when Thushara was pregnant with her first child, they wouldn’t let her parents take care of her or her delivery. “Chandulal’s family convinced us that they would take care of her delivery. They eventually even made Thushara turn against us. We didn’t know they indulged in occult practices. But when we finally managed to see her, she told us: ‘I have no problem here; I am fine. Why have you come here?’. We assumed our visits would cause her problems and so we decided to stay away for some time,” she added.
“We were ready to meet her with gifts and take her home per our customs. But her mother-in-law told us Thushara could go with us if she wanted, but she couldn’t come back to their house,” her aunt said when they tried to visit Thushara while she was pregnant with her second child.
Chandulal’s brother-in-law later intervened and informed the parents that they could take Thushara home after her delivery. “Accordingly, we calculated her due date and tried to contact her. All our efforts to see her fell through. We finally learnt that Thushara had given birth to the baby through a caesarean procedure, three days after the delivery on June 9, 2017.”
Thushara’s husband threatened them at the hospital when they confronted him. “He even said that if we tried to intervene or see her again, we will be taking Thushara’s dead body with us,” the aunt concludes, “Although he tried to stop us, we somehow managed to see Thushara in the hospital. Even when nobody was in the room except her mother and me, Thushara maintained that she was fine. She asked us the same question: ‘Why are you visiting me frequently and disturbing me?’ She maintained a similar answer when her neighbours tried to enquire about her situation.”
In comversation with The News Minute, Thushara’s mother said, “We thought she lived happily. This was never expected.”
“If we had got to Thushara a year-and-a-half back, we could have revived her. We are ready to go to any extent to ensure she gets justice. We will not let them get away with it,” her mother concluded.