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Three Sisters Frustrated By Dowry Demands Commit Suicide

February 5, 1988

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Three sisters, anguished by dowry demands and frequent parading in front of prospective grooms, committed suicide while their parents were away, the United News of India reported today.

The sisters, aged 22, 20 and 18, hanged themselves Wednesday at their home in Kanpur, a city in northern Uttar Pradesh state, the news agency said. Kanpur is about 250 miles southeast of New Delhi.

UNI did not identify the sisters by their first names, and said no note was left. But the agency quoted their father, Gaya Prasad Sahu, as saying he believed worries over marriage and dowry were behind the deaths.

″Although I never discussed the financial problems of the marriage with my daughters, they must have sensed my mental tension,″ Sahu said.

He said efforts to get the eldest daughter married were unsuccessful and the other two were tired of their sister being paraded before men.

Prospective grooms demanded a dowry of more than 75,000 rupees ($5,770), UNI quoted Sahu as saying.

Many marriages in India still are arranged by relatives, with the couples not knowing each other before marriage. The bride’s family often pays a dowry, although the practice was outlawed in 1962.

Hundreds of young women are killed every year by their in-laws for not bringing sufficient dowries.

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