Four sisters kill themselves over dowry

By AFP
Published: September 20, 2013
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Four sisters killed themselves after a row with their father who could not afford dowries for them to get married. PHOTO: FILE

Four sisters killed themselves after a row with their father who could not afford dowries for them to get married. PHOTO: FILE

MULTAN: Four sisters killed themselves after a row with their father who could not afford dowries for them to get married, officials said on Friday.

The women threw themselves into a canal after arguing with their father in Mailsi, a town in the rural southern part of Punjab province. A fifth sister was pulled alive from the water.

“A poor farmer, Bashir Ahmed Rajput, could not marry his five daughters because he had no money to offer dowry,” Malik Daud Hasnain, a senior police official told AFP.

“After an argument on the issue on Thursday, his daughters became desperate and jumped together into a water canal.”

The women were aged 45, 43, 38, 35 and 31.

“We have rescued the youngest sister Fatima and also discovered dead bodies of two others. The search for the remaining bodies is on,” Hasnain said.

Dowry for weddings is a serious issue for poor families in the subcontinent and many women are unable to marry because their relatives cannot afford the gifts and money demanded by grooms’ families.

In Pakistan, the usual age for a woman to get married is between 18 and 28 and anyone older faces difficulties finding a match.

Unmarried older women face scorn from neighbours and relatives and – with no husband to support them financially – poverty and destitution.

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Reader Comments (34)

  • Mj
    Sep 20, 2013 - 3:09PM

    This is a tragedy. Dowry is an outdated custom which needs to be shunned and outlawed. Nothing more shameful than a groom greedily expecting gifts and items from in-laws which should be his responsibility to provide for to his wife.

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  • Khurram Malik
    Sep 20, 2013 - 3:16PM

    In my view Police should investigate the case as the homicide one since three women were of the 40 years threshold and they could not be naive enough to took this extreme decision.

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  • Aiman Kay
    Sep 20, 2013 - 3:24PM

    A sad reality

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  • Ali Zaid
    Sep 20, 2013 - 3:26PM

    Very sad to hear it… but sad reality!

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  • Sep 20, 2013 - 3:30PM

    Where is “Khadim-e-Alaa”?

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  • Murthy
    Sep 20, 2013 - 3:48PM

    This is a big problem in the sub-continent. More than improvement in the family’s financial position, it is education that is required. It is this “culture”–young girls born in poor families must suffer for no fault of theirs– that the growing youngsters must be allowed to question. Youth must be encouraged to be in the forefront to bring about social changes for a better society that thinks without following blindly age-old practices.

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  • Waqas
    Sep 20, 2013 - 3:49PM

    Feeling very desperate to listen it.

    In my opinion,if these sisters should have been educated ,then this incident was avoidable.To committ suicide is big sin in our religion and one must avoid it although the situations is not in favour.

    We will have to educate our sisters and daughters as well as society to curb this tendency of dowries.Recommend

  • Zubair
    Sep 20, 2013 - 4:00PM

    We have created Pakistan in the name of Islam but the traditions of Hinduism still continue to rule our lives.

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  • Kumar
    Sep 20, 2013 - 4:11PM

    Very sad. Dowry is a bad thing but at the same time suicides as well. People need to be literated. They need to realize that marriage is not the ultimate goal of the life. There is plenty in life. They can work and live by themselves. But on the otherside in southasian contries it is not that easy to find a job because of social descrimination between man and women, and ofcourse the economic stualtion.

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  • Truth detector
    Sep 20, 2013 - 4:29PM

    Simple solution is to ban dowry. Both demanding & giving. Encourage people to spend dowry money on girl’s education. Legislature should take up this issue.

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  • Adnan
    Sep 20, 2013 - 4:32PM

    Now people will start bashing dowry……

    The problem is poverty……………………….Nobody is interested in resolving the issue… Dollar from 96 to 107 and will hit 115 by eid….

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  • Sep 20, 2013 - 4:53PM

    @Zubair
    Word Jahej or Dahej is not even an Indian (Hindu) Word. Also Talaq, Be Imaan (or Imaandar) dont have corresponding similar words in India (Hinduism).

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  • Neil
    Sep 20, 2013 - 5:11PM

    Very sad. Similar incident happened in India yesterday…

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Woman-jumps-into-well-with-four-daughters/articleshow/22770865.cms

    Clearly credit must go to the governments of both countries who are too busy with crooked, misplaced priorities and have no regard for their poor countrymen who are only important at voting time.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 20, 2013 - 5:38PM

    @Aftab Nabi:
    Khadim-e-Alla is not responsible for domestic and cultural issues.

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  • Sep 20, 2013 - 5:58PM

    Oh my God, what is this? Is there no one in the locality who can do some thing for these poor girls. In my opinion one reason for this type of demands for dowery can be reduced or even removed if men start polygamy i.e. more than one marriage. This will definitely increase demand for girls/women and hence people will get rid of this demand of dowery. But women should accept this practice of more than one wives.

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  • RAW is WAR
    Sep 20, 2013 - 6:00PM

    why are muslims following dowry system?????

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  • lover
    Sep 20, 2013 - 6:01PM

    indian media and culture effect

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  • JK
    Sep 20, 2013 - 6:06PM

    Dear commentators the point here is not about educating people against such norms neither it is of wrong societal rituals,but indeed it is all about living in a poor country with crippling economy making downwards trends for decades forcing millions to live below poverty line.An unsustainable economy, worst law and order situation and non existence of government writ at any of its institution leads to such gruesome adventures.God bless us all.

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  • me
    Sep 20, 2013 - 6:31PM

    the problem is not only with the illetrate, the educated ones are also on the go. Go and have a look at the educated families. They have NOT “quit” accepting dowry.

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  • me
    Sep 20, 2013 - 6:34PM

    The problem is not only with the illetrate, the educated ones are also on the go. Go and have a look at the educated families. They have NOT “quit” accepting dowry wholeheartedly. So guys the charity begins at home.

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  • ayaz munir
    Sep 20, 2013 - 6:58PM

    Only 2 things can help girls for getting marriage today in our country,

    “Physical beauty or Money”

    And we forget how much important a girls habits and style of living is us, this is why many a times men cry because they dont end up having good children as their mothers werent good in character.

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  • Samar_Yz
    Sep 20, 2013 - 7:00PM

    I’m sorry but this is pretty dumb…so death is better than being unwed? This sounds pretty dodgy…more to the story than dowry :/

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  • np
    Sep 20, 2013 - 7:43PM

    @Zubair: “We have created Pakistan in the name of Islam but the traditions of Hinduism still continue to rule our lives”.

    Dowry is a subcontinental tradition and an unfortunate one. IT is no more Hindu than it is Islamic. Stop dragging religion into everything.Recommend

  • Get real
    Sep 20, 2013 - 7:46PM

    @Adnan:
    What is good about dowry ? Any money given by the brides family should be to the daughter or couple that is getting married and why should the brides family only give money ???

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  • AHB
    Sep 20, 2013 - 7:55PM

    It’s a sad news. We are unable to get rid of old customs even in 21st century.
    The problem is not education. Educated people are also accepting and giving dowry. And not all grooms are greedy. If you ask girl’s parents not to give dowry, they get angry and forcefully give you dowry. If you tell them that you have everything in your house, your daughter will live happily, they still give dowry to show off.

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  • MOHAMMAD NAEEM
    Sep 20, 2013 - 8:51PM

    SAD. Feeling Teary and disappointed :(

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  • ainy
    Sep 20, 2013 - 9:06PM

    we need to educate women , so that they would stand up for themselves and courageously refrain from complying to greedy demands of groom’s family. Moreover, they might also realize that getting married should not be one’s aim of life.

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  • Hindu baniya
    Sep 20, 2013 - 9:25PM

    We will beat you in this also : here we burn them, rape them, behead them and then claim we are non violent vegetarians !!

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  • Moiz Omar
    Sep 20, 2013 - 9:31PM

    Say no to dowries!! Stop such tragedies!!!!

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  • Asad
    Sep 20, 2013 - 10:48PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Yes the poor people of Pakistan are responsible who are paying taxes and getting nothing. People sitting in the government are definitely not responsible since they are actually doing business and not running the government. A businessman can’t be held responsible!!
    How pathetic..

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  • Asad
    Sep 20, 2013 - 10:51PM

    I really condemn this but do you know the storm of inflation would push so many other poor people to take such steps. Alas no place for poor since the government is not responsible for the people.

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  • mucieb
    Sep 21, 2013 - 4:22AM

    say no to dowries

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  • doom
    Sep 21, 2013 - 1:09PM

    The responsibility is actually on the wealthy. Rich families especially from the groom’s side need to start turning down dowry/gifts of all sorts, and gift-giving should be looked down upon. In my book it is jaahil behavior to accept any such things including communal things like TV, AC, fridge. These should be bought by the couple as a couple later, not at the time of the wedding.

    Once dowry becomes “unfashionable” among the rich the effect will trickle down to everyone, because everyone feels compelled to keep up with the class above them.

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  • ibn arastoo
    Sep 22, 2013 - 1:44PM

    You will be blessed with freedom and wealth and your own homes, your own cars, your own independence, a virtuous and blessed life. Just like in Europe and West and even better you will have beautiful lands, with snow and rivers, flowers, lakes and beautiful fair people, blue eyed and blonde and you will never have to put up with hostile neighbors … you will not have to remain single and unmarried for the sake of dowry but you will go on dates and have many lovers because you will be known as gentle and loving and blessed.

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