With his daughter's wedding around the corner and no arrangement of funds for dowry, a distraught man committed suicide in Latur district, police said today. Shivram Suryawanshi, a 45-year old farmer from Ambulga village in Nilanga tehsil of Latur, hanged himself from a babool tree yesterday, police said. "Preliminary reports suggest that the farmer was frustrated as he could not arrange money for his daughter's dowry and other marriage-related expenses and took the extreme step," police said. A case of accidental death has been registered at the Aurad Shahjani police station.
Shivram is survived by wife, daughter and two sons, police said. The suicide comes within a week of a young girl in Latur, who bemoaned the continuance of the social evil of dowry in her Maratha community, killing herself to lessen the "burden" on her poor father. Sheetal Vyankat Vayal (21), resident of Bhise Wagholi in Latur district, jumped into a well on April 14 and ended her life, police said. "My parents are poor and they don't have money for my marriage. I am ending my life to lessen my father's burden and to end the dowry practise in my Maratha community," Sheetal's suicide note had said. Last year, 18 year-old Mohini Bhise, also from Latur district, committed suicide "so that her poor farmer father didn't have to pay dowry for her marriage". Mohini, an academically bright student, had hanged herself in her house. In her suicide note, she had questioned the continuance of dowry custom despite the legal ban. "Why does one pay dowry?" she had asked in the note, while instructing her father not to conduct any religious rituals after her death.