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Twenty-four-year-old Vismaya V Nair was found dead at her husband’s Sasthamcotta residence in Kollam district, Kerala, on the morning of Monday, 21 June. She was found hanging inside the bathroom, India Today reported.
Only two days eago, she had messaged her cousin and told him that her husband had brutally beaten her several times over a car he received as part of the wedding dowry. She also shared photos of the injuries on her face, shoulders, and hands, reported The News Minute (TNM).
"“He used to beat me up whenever he was angry. He was unhappy with the car my father gave. He hurled abuses at my father for some time. When it was too much to bear, I tried to exit the room. He then stopped me, pulled me by my hair and slapped me right in my face. When I fell, he put his foot on my face.”" - Vismaya’s WhatsApp chats, quoted by The Times of India
Vismaya was in her final year, completing her Bachelor’s degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery. She married S Kiran Kumar, an official at the Motor Vehicle Department, in March 2020. It was an arranged marriage.
Her family has registered a complaint with the police that Vismaya was harassed for dowry and murdered, reported TNM. Her father, Thrivrikaman Nair, said that they had given Kumar’s family 100 sovereigns, one acre of land, and a Toyota Yaris car as dowry. However, Kumar wanted to sell the car for cash. They could not give him the cash as they had already taken a loan to buy the car, The Times of India reported.
"“Once he came home with her, all drunk from a party. When they reached home, he beat her up. When my son went to ask about it, Kiran hit him too. We reported it to the patrol police, who then had an altercation with Kiran. Finally, he was taken to the police station. However, the Circle Inspector and Kiran’s family called us for a compromise. My son said to let it go this time. After that, my daughter stayed at my home. But two months ago, when she went to college (in Pandalam), to write her BAMS exams, Kiran picked her up and took her to his home. She didn’t come home after that.”" - Thrivrikaman Nair, Vismaya’s father, speaking to TNM.
However, her father learned about the WhatsApp conversations only now, he said. Vismaya would only call her mother, not her father or brother, Vijith, to talk about such matters.
"“I learnt about all that only now. She had told my wife about Kiran beating her up. Two days ago, she messaged my cousin asking him to take her home when Kiran was at work.”" - Thrivrikaman Nair, Vismaya’s father, speaking to TNM.
Vismaya’s father and her brother are confident that she would never end her life by suicide, and that she was murdered, The Times of India reported.
The Kerala Women’s Commission has taken a case suo motu on Vismaya’s death, TNM reported.
"“We registered the case as soon as we got information that it was dowry harassment. After that, the victim’s brother contacted me and sent me the images and WhatsApp conversations of the woman, concerning the harassment she faced. The Women’s Commission has asked Kollam Rural Superintendent of Police (SP) to submit a report. We have also asked to have the post-mortem done at a hospital chosen by the woman’s family.”" - Shahida Kamal, Women’s Commission member who registered the case, quoted by TNM
Kamal further added that since the marriage is yet to complete ten years, it will be a case of dowry harassment even if her death is ruled a suicide.
Rural SP KB Ravi said that a case has been registered under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure – relating to the death of a woman within seven years of her marriage in any circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion that some other person committed an offence in relation to such a woman, TNM reported.
The Station House Officer at Sooranadu has informed that the inquest has been done, and after the post-mortem, more investigations will be conducted, reported TNM. Vismaya’s body has been taken to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College for the autopsy.
Find a list of domestic violence helplines here.
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