Kerala PG medical student arrested for dowry-related death of classmate


The police said they registered a case against Ruwise under the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1986.

The police said they registered a case against Ruwise under the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1986.
| Photo Credit: Satheesh Vellinezhi

The Medical College police in Thiruvananthapuram have arrested a 28-year-old post-graduate medical student, Ruwise, in connection with the “dowry demand-related” death by suicide of his classmate, Shahana.

The police said a “suicide note” suspected to be written by Shahana indicated that she had overdosed on intravenously administered painkillers at her apartment on Tuesday, believing that her family could ill-afford the huge dowry allegedly demanded by Ruwise’s parents.

Also read: In Kerala, dowry and alcoholism turn life a living hell for many women

The police said they registered a case against Ruwise under the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1986 based on a first information statement filed by her brother. They have also accused the medical student of abetting Shahana’s suspected suicide.

Officials said they suspected Shahana and Ruwise were in a relationship and hoped to marry. Both their families had reportedly met and agreed to the marriage.

But Ruwise’s parents allegedly made outsize dowry demands of Shahana that her family could ill-afford. According to the police, the dowry ultimata included cash, gold, an expensive car and landed property.

The police said Shahana had not named Ruwise or any person as responsible for her death in the “suicide note”. However, the police claimed that a preliminary cyber forensic examination of their mobile phones provided initial proof of their engagement.

The police also recorded the statements of the classmates of the pair. They reportedly told the police that Shahana had retreated into anguished solitariness after Ruwise also allegedly insisted on his family’s purported demand for a massive dowry as a precondition for marriage.

The police said Shahana had mentioned the demand for dowry as the primary driver for her death in her note.

Rebuff dowry-seekers: Pinarayi

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters in Chalakudy that the institution of dowry, though universally condemned and outlawed, endured due to the avarice of a few.

He said women should rebuff those who set dowry as a prerequisite for marriage. “The government has taken a serious view of the tragedy”, Mr. Vijayan said.

Student suspended

Meanwhile, the Health department has suspended the medical student. Earlier, Health Minister Veena George had sought a report about the incident.

Notably, Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) Vice-Chancellor Mohanan Kunnumal told a news channel that Ruwise would lose his MBBS degree if found guilty.

He pointed out that medical students have to sign an undertaking at admission that they shall not demand, receive, give or promote the practice of dowry.

Meanwhile, post-graduate students at the Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram have called a meeting to commiserate Shahana’s passing.

The Kerala Medical Post Graduates Association (KMPGA) has thrown Ruwise, a State committee member, out of the student organisation’s primary membership.

To be produced in court

The police said they would produce Ruwise in the Judicial First Class Magistrate (JFMC) on Thursday evening and seek his judicial remand. The offences charged against him carry a punishment of up to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine.


Mohd Aman

Editor in Chief Approved by Indian Government

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