Skip to main content

Indian woman and baby burned alive for dowry, police say

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
updated 4:49 AM EST, Mon February 3, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police: 22-year-old Annu Devi and her baby were doused in kerosene
  • Devi's husband and parents-in-law are in jail awaiting trial
  • Dowry is banned in India
  • But India had over 8,200 dowry-related deaths in 2012, crime records show

New Delhi (CNN) -- Police in eastern India have arrested the husband and parents-in-law of a young woman for allegedly burning her and her baby girl alive.

The primary motive behind the January 30 attack is suspected to be dowry-related, as alleged by the parents of the dead woman, Jharkhand state police superintendent N.K. Mishra said.

The three suspects poured kerosene on Annu Devi, 22, and the baby girl at their village home in the state's Dumka district and set them on fire, Mishra said.

The 1-year-old child died instantly, and the mother later succumbed to her injuries in a hospital, police said.

A court has sent the three suspects to jail to await trial, Mishra told CNN.

Asked whether the fact that Devi gave birth to a girl was also a motive, Mishra said: "That could be a factor. But it was mainly for dowry. Her family has said in their complaint she was harassed for money and other things."

Devi married three years ago, Mishra said.

Dowry is banned in India, but giving expensive "gifts" to the grooms and their relatives at weddings hosted by the brides' families remains a common practice in the country.

Police across India registered 8,233 murders of women as dowry deaths in 2012, according to national crime data.

Gang-raped girl burned alive

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
updated 2:44 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Convicted match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal boasts to CNN of fixing World Cup games adding: "I was on the bench and telling players what to do, giving orders to the coach."
updated 4:15 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
"Princess Fragrant" is the latest effort to foster harmony in China's restive Xinjiang region.
updated 10:12 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
updated 11:40 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
AC360 looks back at the most moving moments from Michael Brown's funeral.
updated 7:18 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
The mother of a hostage freed after two years captivity says it's not time to party.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
"I just love it when I get milk-to-dark converts," says Kerrin Rousset, before she leads a small cocoa-hungry crowd through Zurich's Old Town.
ADVERTISEMENT