India: Man arrested for posting wife’s photo, asking men to pay to talk to her, after his demand for dowry was not met

Indian bride
Bride in India. Photo for illustrative purposes only
Image Credit: Stock image

After his demand for a motorbike as dowry, was not met, a man in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, did the most bizarre thing. He put up his wife’s “honour for sale” on social media. The man who was arrested on Monday, posted his wife’s picture on social media, along with her phone number. Reportedly, in the post, he asked people to pay money to talk to her. He also invited strangers to make lewd calls to her and ask her for sex.

Reportedly, initially after the marriage, Puneet from Thuthia village started harassing and beating his wife for not getting the bike.

Aggrieved after facing the torture, his wife decided to go back to her parents’ house. This didn’t go down well with Puneet who then supposedly decided to post the picture as revenge.

As his wife kept getting calls, she got fed up and filed a complaint with the Cyber Cell. She even named her husband as the accused, said local media reports.

Police officials reportedly said: “We arrested Puneet on Monday, and he has been sent to jail. This is an unusual case of crime against women and we will ensure strict punishment for the accused.”

Dowry is illegal in India

As the news reports were shared by netizens, discussions on the prevalence of India’s dowry system resurfaced. Paying and accepting dowry is a centuries-old South Asian tradition where the bride’s parents gift cash, clothes and jewellery to the groom’s family.

Facebook user Riti Mittal asked: “What makes our men feel so entitled to think they can demand bikes and money? If you want a bike, work, earn money and go buy it!”

Tweep @PalakDogra8 posted: “Dowry deaths are still relevant in India. Will this ever stop?”

The age-old practice of dowry was made illegal in India in 1961 with the Dowry Prohibition Act. It specified that money or gifts demanded or given as dowry at the time of wedding will be considered punishable by law.

However, it is still prevalent and one of the biggest social problems that effects women and girls in the country. Campaigners say it leaves women vulnerable to domestic violence and even death. Reports show that it is also one of the reasons, parents in India prefer male children, leading to female infanticide.

To prevent dowry deaths and harassment of brides, India introduced a tough anti-dowry law – Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code – in 1983.

Tweep @bion_91 posted: “Dowry is still common in India. Thousands die due to dowry, imagine how many face it and keep shush to get along with the marriage.”

However, that has not stopped parents of grooms from demanding money at the time of marriage. Dowry can put great financial burden on low income families. It has apparently, even led to people having to sell their life’s savings or take huge loans to meet the demands.

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