‘I have been thrown out of my house for dowry, please take me back...’

Twenty-five-year-old Sadhna, who married a resident of Indrayani Nagar in Pimpri-Chinchwad, held an unusual protest outside her residence for two days after her in-laws slammed the door on her for allegedly not bringing dowry.

No amount of pleading or even the fact that she had gone without food and water for two days changed her in-laws' mind. They wanted Rs 5 lakh in cash and gold jewellery and nothing less.

Sadhna's fast would perhaps have continued if the police did not get involved. She was forced to give up when she was taken away to the police station.

However, on Wednesday, Sadhna said she would re-launch her fast because the police had failed to convince her in-laws to take her back. "Despite police help, my in-laws still refuse to take me back...If they persist, I will re-launch my fast," Sadhna told this paper at the police commissionerate on Wednesday, where she filed an application "seeking justice".

Sadhna has been on fast outside her in-laws' Indrayani Nagar bungalow throughout Monday and Tuesday. She carried handwritten posters, highlighting her plight and drew attention of curious passersby.

"I have been thrown out of my house for dowry, please take me back...If my parents are poor, it is not my fault," read the poster. During her fast, she had only "one glass of water" which was given to her by a neighbour. "Local residents tried forcing me to eat, but I refused. But my in-laws didn't even offer me a glass of water."

Sadhna hails from a village in Shirur taluka of Pune district. Her travails began soon after her marriage in December last year.

At MIDC police station on Tuesday, Sadhna said her husband had not directly demanded dowry. "But my mother-in-law keeps taunting me and her demands for dowry kept growing louder after a neighbour in our locality got married. The family apparently got 30 tolas of gold as dowry from the newly wed. So my mother-in-law started comparing us," she said. Sadhna said her "looks" were also made into an issue. She alleged that they disliked her for not being "fair and good-looking".

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