A sitting woman councillor of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Satyam Yadav, and her 18-month-old daughter were found dead under mysterious circumstances at their residence in Nangloi here on Thursday. The Delhi Police have registered a case of dowry death and murder. Ironically, the day also happened to be Satyam’s birthday.
The victim’s family members alleged that her in-laws and husband had been harassing her for dowry and that they were behind the two deaths. One of them also claimed that her in-laws were not happy at her having given birth to a daughter.
Twenty-seven-year-old Satyam Yadav was the Councillor from Nangloi East ward (No.43) of the Municipal Corporation.
According to the police, Satyam, who was elected on Congress ticket in the municipal elections held in April this year, was last seen alive on Wednesday night. She along with her daughter Vanshika had gone to sleep on the second floor of their two-storey house around 11-30 p.m. Her husband Pawan Yadav stayed on the first floor as he was looking after his ailing mother, said the police.
“Around 8 a.m. on Thursday the family members knocked at the door of her room which was bolted from inside but there was no response. Later they managed to open the door and found Satyam hanging from the ceiling fan and her daughter Vanshika lying unconscious on the bed,” said a police officer.
A call was made to the Police Control Room around 8-30 a.m. The police claimed that the family rushed Vanshika to a nearby hospital where she was declared brought dead.
Satyam, who hailed from Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh, had come to Delhi after marrying Pawan Yadav in February 2010.
Pawan is a school teacher and his father Lalaram Yadav is in politics. The couple had their first and only child, Vanshika, in 2011.
The police informed the area Sub-Divisional Magistrate about the incident following which inquest proceedings were initiated into the matter.
Satyam’s brother-in-law Sunil Yadav said that since her marriage Satyam was often humiliated for dowry by her husband and his parents. “They used to put pressure on Satyam and there were constant demands for dowry since her marriage. They often told her that Pawan had turned down marriage proposals from girls whose families were ready to pay more money as dowry,” said Sunil.
Sunil also said that Satyam, who had completed her post-graduation and B.Ed. thereafter, was never inclined to join politics and wanted to become a teacher instead and that she had even applied for a teaching job in Uttar Pradesh after her marriage.
“She was forced to contest the civic elections by her family as due to the ward being a reserved constituency (for women), her father-in-law could not. Her mother-in-law, who was the second choice candidate, had to pull out as some of her documents were not complete,” he said.
Satyam’s brother Prashant Singh, who is a school teacher in Delhi, said Pawan’s family were also unhappy with the fact that Satyam had given birth to a girl child as they wanted a son.
Neighbours said that despite being a public figure, Satyam was rarely seen outside her house and was not very active even during her election campaign. They, however, said that it never appeared to them that there were problems between the couple.
The police said that prima facie the cause of the mother-daughter death appears to be strangulation. Ligature marks were found round the necks of both.
Post-mortems have been conducted and the bodies would be taken to Satyam’s native place Bulandshahr for cremation.
A case has been registered under the sections related to dowry death and murder, said the police. Efforts are on to ascertain whether Satyam first strangled Vanshika and then hanged herself or if someone else murdered both.