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01 Jun 2017

Should have saved for dowry instead: Father of dead IITian

Educate daughter, or save for dowry?

Parents of 28-year-old Manjula Devak, a research scholar who seemingly hung herself on the fan in her flat, regret sending her to IIT.

"I should have saved money for her dowry instead," her father says.

Devak's family accuses her husband Ritesh of demanding dowry of up to Rs. 25L. The couple, whose marriage was arranged in 2013, had been living separately since a year.

In context

Educate daughter, or save for dowry?
What happened?


What happened?

After completing MTech from IIT-Delhi, Manjula was pursuing PhD there. She was last seen on campus in the afternoon of May 29.

On May 30, police broke open the door to her flat to find her hanging. There was no sign of forced entry.

Though the reason for the apparent suicide is unclear, her colleagues denied academic stress. "Manjula was doing fine," one said.


Accusations against the husband

"We got our daughter married early because their horoscopes had matched perfectly," Manjula's father said.

Now, the mother has accused Ritesh of forcing her to quit studies and join him in business. He had also allegedly quit his own job, was staying with her at her campus-apartment, and demanded money.

But Manjula didn't consider divorce keeping in mind her family's reputation, her mother says.

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Status of the case

Manjula's parents didn't let Ritesh's family stand outside the mortuary as a postmortem was conducted. The police have launched a preliminary enquiry. An SDM is also enquiring into the death. Ritesh and his family will be summoned for questioning.

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