Recently Vartika Katiyar, 2010-batch Karnataka IPS officer, reportedly filed a dowry harassment case against her husband, IFS officer Niteen Subhash Yeola and his family in Bengaluru.
As per the reports, Vartika, Superintendent of Police-Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRO) Research Centre has mentioned that she suffered years of financial, emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her husband, a deputy secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, and his family. She also shared the details of how the abuse didn’t even stop when she was pregnant and the constant abuse also resulted in an injury in 2016.
Dowry Harassment & Mental Torture
While sharing the details of the complaint, the report quoted, Vartika married Niteen in 2011. Post which, Niteen and his family allegedly forced her family to give gold ornaments. Along with her husband, she named her in-laws and 4 other relatives in the case.
In her complaint, Vertika stated:
“The harassment continued after the marriage,” Vartika further stated that she was subjected to verbal abuse and “mental torture” for “no reason”. Vartika has alleged that multiple times in the last few years, her marital family demanded lakhs of rupees from her family. The first instance, according to the complaint, occurred three months after the wedding. Rs 3 lakh was allegedly demanded by Niteen’s family, who threatened to break the marriage if the amount was not given. Hence, due to fear of breaking off marriage the complainant and her parents fulfilled their demands right from the beginning. (sic)”
As per the TNM, in 2012, Niteen allegedly went to Vartika’s grandmother’s house and demanded Rs. 5 lakh from her. This amount was given to him in the form of a cheque.
In her complaint, Vartika has also alleged that her husband started physically abusing her as well. While recounting an incident in 2016, she shared how the physical abuse resulted in a fractured hand. She has alleged that when the couple was visiting Colombo, her husband allegedly hit her with a marble box, breaking her hand.
According to the police, the case has been booked under sections 3 and 4 (the penalty for taking dowry) of the Dowry Prohibition Act. Other than the Dowry Prohibition Act, they have been booked under sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (intending to insult the modesty of any woman, 34 (common intent), 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 384 (Punishment for extortion), 420 (cheating) and 326. (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Bottom Line
This case is just another reminder of how our educated Indian families still shamelessly asking for dowry and not shying away from harassing their daughters-in-law. But, what breaks our heart is how under the pressure to make their marriage work, many educated and independent women chose to suffer in silence. In the quest to protect their parents’ honor or fear of ‘log kya kahengey’ or for the sake of their kids, these women accept the abuse as their fate. They keep suffering in a hope that one day, the abuse will end. But, sadly it doesn’t! It doesn’t till the time, they gather the courage to stand for themselves. Remember, abuse isn’t going to stop if you keep on suffering; Abuse is only going to stop when you stand against it!
P.S. Please don’t judge women for taking years to raise their voices against their abusive family members. Because it may be easy to judge them; it is very difficult to walk in their shoes! Here are helplines numbers and abuse victim rights that could help those suffering the abuse in silence.