Society

Indian Woman Beaten By In-Laws Over Having Girl Child (Video)

| by Michael Doherty
A woman holding keysA woman holding keys

In a horrifying video (below) that has emerged online, a woman from India was brutally hit with hockey sticks by her in-laws after she gave birth to a female child.

Meena Kashyap, the woman in the graphic footage, was attacked by her husband's family after she gave birth to a baby girl, the Daily Mail reports.

Kashyap, 35, from Patiala, Punjab, can be seen in the footage from the top of a flight of stairs as two men -- her brother-in-law, Kamaljeet Singh, and a friend identified only as Guarav -- beat her with hockey sticks from the front and back.

The family of Kashyap's husband, Daljit Singh, allegedly refused to accept the baby girl. She has reportedly been attacked by them in the past, making a complaint about violence in April.

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The families are also reported to be in a conflict over a large dowry paid to Daljit's family.

"We had complained about the issue last year but nothing was being done regarding that," said Kashyap's father. "They have been married for the past two years now and have a girl child. Their family asked for [over $10,800] for dowry."

Daljit and Kamaljeet are reported to have been charged with trespassing and voluntarily causing harm.

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The video has gone viral in India, causing a stir around the topic of dowries in the country.

Dowry payments in India were once made by a new bride's family in order to help the couple support themselves and start their new life together, but have more recently taken on a sinister tone, according to The Daily Beast.

The families of grooms have made excessive demands to the families of brides, and continue to demand money and valuables even after the wedding. If the family refuses, the woman may be abused or even killed.

The widespread practice was outlawed decades ago, but continues under the pretense of "gifts" from a woman's family to her husband's family.

In the 1980s, a large number of women died in kitchen fires that were thought to be related to unpaid dowries. An amendment was added to India's dowry laws stipulating that an unnatural death of a woman within seven years of her wedding would be considered a dowry death.

Physician Varsha Ramakrishnan has worked in burn wards with women who were attacked because of dowries. She said that some families had tried to kill the women she worked with over as little as $85 in American currency.

"Tragically, a lot of them lied to the police about what happened to them, because their husbands threatened the children," said Ramakrishnan. "It's easier in India to kill your wife and marry someone else than it is to pay dowry."

Sources: Daily Mail, The Daily Beast / Photo credit: Sam Sharma/Flickr, Abishek Jacob/Flickr, Dinesh Cyanam/Flickr

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