A 20-year old woman was chained to a bed, beaten and denied sufficient amounts of food for a period of two months by the family of her husband because of failure to meet the family’s dowry demand. The torture of the woman was caused by her husbands feeling of insecurity about his impotence and fear that she would leave him because of his medical condition. She was able to escape by sheer luck when her mother-in-law forgot to secure the manacles that bound her hands.
The cruel and inhumane treatment of women over dowry disputes is not uncommon in India. Dowry, the act of giving or receiving, is considered illegal in India and punishable under law. However, the exchange of dowries remains widely practiced and dowry disputes are equally settled through torture and burning of women by their husbands and in-laws.