Fighting social evils: Bihar tells newly-recruited officials to submit ‘no dowry’ affidavits
PATNA—In a unique fight against dowry, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has asked the newly-recruited police officials not to take dowry during wedding failing which they would be summarily dismissed from service.
A total of 40 youths were given appointment letters by the government after they cleared the tests conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC).
Reports said at the time of handing over the appointment letters, all the 40 newly-recruited deputy superintendents (DySPs), including some women, were told to submit affidavits to the government. The affidavits clearly stated that they would not be accepting or giving a single penny as dowry at the time of their wedding.
The affidavits also stated that if any complaint related to dowry reaches the government or the court, they would be dismissed from service. The government officials have been infamous for getting hefty dowry in the state although only few cases reach the police.
The prevailing state of dowry-related crime in the state is underlined from the fact that a newly-married woman was killed for dowry barely a month after wedding in Patna. The woman was found hanging from ceiling fan at her in-laws house in August this year with her parents alleging their daughter’s matrimonial family began torturing her soon after the wedding.
According to a report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Bihar records the second highest number of dowry deaths and murders in the country after UP.
The state recorded 1,081 dowry deaths in 2017, nearly 10 percent more than 987 deaths in 2016. Similarly, the number of dowry-related murder cases remained at 2,803 in 2017, up from 2,581 in 2016.
Keeping in view the seriousness of the situation, the Nitish Kumar government had formed a 14,000 km-long human chain in Bihar in January 2018 against dowry and child marriages to create awareness among the masses against these two social evils but the situation has hardly improved.
There is, however, increased awareness against child marriage with the people and the girls themselves calling up the police and the administrative officials to stop such weddings.