Cassian Baliarsingh

A woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her in-laws' house at Podapada village under Motanga police limits in Dhenkanal district on the occasion of New Year on Sunday.

The body of Saharika Mahakud, who hailed from Bangurasingha village, was found hanging in her in-laws' house. The deceased's family members alleged that she was given electric shocks and her body was subsequently hung to a fan to represent it as a suicide.

According to reports, Saharika had married Ratikant Bhutia of Podapada village on July 7, 2021 and cash and other valuables were given to the groom's family as dowry during the wedding.

However, soon after the marriage Ratikant and his family members allegedly started torturing Saharika demanding more dowry. On Sunday, when all were busy celebrating the New Year, Saharika was found hanging from a fan in the house. Her family members alleged that it was a pre-planned murder over dowry.

“They were torturing my daughter. I had come here for my grandson’s 21st day ceremony. The whole family would insult her and abuse her. They have electrocuted her by giving her electric shocks. I want justice for my daughter. I want them to be put to justice for killing my daughter,” alleged Saharika’s mother Jharana Mahakud.

However, Saharika’s husband and in-laws have refuted the allegations.

“I cannot say anything right now. I’m in shock. She has hanged herself. We were not torturing her,” said Champa Bhutia, mother-in-law of Saharika.

When contacted, SDPO Suryamani Pradhan said a probe was on.

“We have received a newly-wed murder over dowry case. We have registered a case based on the complaints of the victim’s family. A scientific team has been deployed in the probe. The body has been sent for post-mortem. The probe is on and the cause of death will be known after the arrival of post-mortem reports,” said Pradhan.