A 25-year-old woman in the Indian state of Bihar has been rescued after spending three years locked in the bathroom for not giving her husband and parents-in-law enough dowry, zoomin.tv reports.
The situation reportedly got even worse after Gunja Devi gave birth to a girl, who she was not allowed to see. According to the BBC, Devi's torment began when she failed to give birth to a son.
"It was as if her in-laws were seeking revenge for not bringing ample dowry and for giving birth to a girl child," the SHO said to The Times of India.
The victim was eventually saved by police. At the time of the rescue, Devi was found in a devastating condition. Her clothes were torn, her nails were overgrown, and she couldn't open her eyes in the sunlight after spending so long in a dark room.
"I have been locked inside the bathroom for three years," Devi said. "The door was always locked. They didn't even allow me to see my child. I was not even given proper food."
After being rescued, Devi reportedly broke into sobs when her child didn't recognize her.
After marrying in 2010, her husband and in-laws allegedly started torturing her for more dowry. The BBC notes that "dowries have been illegal in India since 1961 but the practice is still widespread." The Telegraph reports that conflict over dowries leads to the murder of more than 8,000 women in India every year.
Officers finally raided the home after Devi's parents complained that they hadn't been allowed to see her. Her mother and farther were reportedly "shooed away" when they tried to see Devi.
Devi's husband, however, says that he is the one who is a victim. Devi reportedly tried to poison him during their relationship. "This girl has given me poison in 2013," he says, "as instigated by her mother. After I was poisoned I had to go to the hospital. I was under observation for three days."
The woman has pressed charges against her husband and parents-in-law. The three have been taken into custody as police investigate the case. The BBC reports that they were eventually freed on bail.
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