A 27-year-old woman was reduced to a "bag of a skeleton" and has died allegedly due to starvation enforced by her husband and mother-in-law for dowry, police said on Saturday, in a case that has caused a public outrage. Thushara, a native of Karunagappally near Kollam, was denied proper food for days and survived only on soaked rice and sugar syrup before she breathed her last at a government hospital, the police said, quoting the postmortem report and neighbours.
At the time of her death on the midnight of March 21 due to illness and uneasiness, the woman weighed just 20 kg, they said. Thushara's husband Chandulal and his mother Geetha Lal were arrested and remanded on Friday, the police said.
The alleged torture of the woman came to light in a probe the police conducted after her death.
"She looked like a bag of a skeleton with hardly any flesh on her body. She weighed just 20 kg. A detailed inquiry has thrown light to the cruelty. Her relatives alleged that the torture was to get more dowry," a police official told PTI.
Thushara's mother Vijayalakshmi alleged the accused had been torturing her daughter for the past five years and had not allowed the family members to meet her for one year.
"My daughter had suffered gruesome torture. We did not give any police complaint as we feared it would put my daughter's life in danger," she said.
A Chandulal neighbour said the woman was allegedly tortured mentally and physically by the husband and her in-laws.
The woman's husband used to do odd jobs other than welding works. The couple married in 2013. At the time of the marriage, the woman's family had given some gold ornaments and money to the man's family and had promised to give Rs 2 lakh later.
The deceased woman had two children -- the younger aged 1.5 years and the other three -- and both of them are healthy, the police official said.