Mumbai, Dec 4: The Cuffe Parade police on Sunday December 2, booked a Navy sailor and three of his family members for allegedly demanding dowry from his wife and causing her to commit suicide on Saturday December 1 afternoon, at their Navy Nagar residence.
Those booked for dowry death and subjecting a woman to cruelty were navy chief mechanic Ravi Ranjan Sharma, his father Arvind Sharma, mother Shanti and sister Richa Sharma. Nisha Sharma, 25, was two months pregnant when she committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan on Saturday afternoon. No arrests have been made as yet. Nisha was a political science graduate and an MBA. She married Ravi on July 6.
"We have recorded the statements of the accused and his relatives," said senior inspector Arun Wable of the Cuffe Parade police. Nisha’s relatives, who flew in from Kolkata, alleged that she was being abused and beaten by her husband and in-laws ever since she got married in July 2007. There were repeated demands for a Santro car and Rs 6 lakh as dowry, it was alleged.
Nisha hanged herself minutes after speaking on the phone to her mother, who was in Kolkata. She allegedly complained that Ravi was forcing her to get money from her family. She was rushed to the navy’s Ashwini hospital by the Sharmas, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
"They had been troubling her ever since she got married. They refused to give her food on many occasions. She hadn’t eaten on the day she died," said Pramod Narayan Thakur, Nisha’s father, who runs a garment business in Kolkata. "We kept thinking that it was too early to make conclusions and that the matter would be resolved through dialogue. We had no clue that it would come to all this." Nisha was to visit her parents in Kolkata on December 22 with her husband. "We were even thinking of divorce if there was a need," said Usha Thakur, Nisha’s mother.
Just 19 days after the wedding, Nisha had messaged her elder sister in Kolkata, complaining that the physical and mental torture was getting too much to bear. "She was at times hit on her stomach by Ravi, even when he knew that she was expecting," said her mother.
The Sharmas, who have given their statement to the police, could not be reached for comment. "Since he is a defence employee, he cannot talk unless the naval administration grants permission," said Abhay Lambhate, chief public relations officer, Ministry of Defence. "However, the navy is extending its full support to ensuring the law takes its due course," Lambhate added.