A Ph.D. student committed suicide because of dowry demands by her in-laws.

Manjula Devak, a Ph.D. student at the IIT – Delhi campus had everything going for her. A bright future awaited thanks to her brilliant intellect and past work experience in the US.

Manjula Devak. Final year Ph.D. Student

Unfortunately, that was not to be. Tired of being harassed by her In-Laws for Dowry, Manjula hung herself at her apartment in the IIT-Delhi campus.

A conversation Manjula had with her sister.

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Manjula’s father confirmed that it was because of the torture that she ended her life. Manjula and Ritesh Virha got married 4 years back i.e. in 2013.

They shifted from Bhopal to IIT Delhi, since she wanted to pursue her Ph.D. in water resources.

Before joining IIT, Manjula had worked in the US as well.

When Manjula committed suicide, Rajesh was in Indore. No one had seen her since Monday and on Tuesday evening, Manjula’s friends entered her home. After finding the room door locked from within, they informed the cops who broke it down. They rushed her to the hospital, but she was declared dead on arrival.

According to Manjula’s father, the in-laws were demanding a dowry of Rs 20 Lakhs, because her husband had quit his job and wanted money for a business venture.

This was not the first time Manjula had tried to take this extreme step, in 2015 Manjula had tried to end her life by slitting her wrists.

It makes me question the ‘modern fabric’ we like to think our society is made of, we are not even close to it. How can one live, knowing that they drove someone else to take such an extreme step I will never know.

It is extremely important that the topic of Dowry is broached again, very seriously. We can see it still very much exists across all strata of Indian Society and it has to be fought against and abolished.

Manjula Devak.

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Our prayers and thoughts go out to Manjula’s family, and I hope that whoever is proven responsible for this should be punished in the most extreme sense permitted within the scope of the law.

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