Husband smashes her head demanding more dowry

16 sutures on her skullHer mother married her off six months agoHusband arrested

NALGONDA: Eighteen-year-old Sheik Ahmedi is still grappling to come out of shock. She is lying on bed in the District Headquarters Hospital with full-scale bandages on both her arms. The pain caused by 16 sutures doctors put in the wound on her skull is unbearable.

Ahmedi, a victim of dowry harassment, vaguely recalls that she lost consciousness after her husband Sheik Rafi, 25, a lorry driver, hit her head with a pestle a fortnight ago in their home at Nidamanur. "I don't know who caused severe damage to my hands. I suspect he bludgeoned my hands with the same pestle he used to hit my head," Ahmedi says.

Government employee

She alleges that he had tried to throttle her when she was being treated at a hospital in Miryalaguda. Ahmedi's mother, an employee in a Government office at Alair, married her off after paying Rs. 50,000 in cash, five tolas of gold and furniture as dowry only six months ago. "He is my cousin's son. I could not check his antecedents as I performed the wedding in a great hurry," Ahmedi's mother recalls. "They saw my daughter at a marriage and insisted on the alliance. Forced by the relatives, I married her off at the same wedding venue," she says, expressing regrets for committing the blunder. Rafi had been allegedly harassing the girl for another Rs.50,000 promised by her mother. "He kept beating me. I did not inform my mother because I did not want her to get worried," Ahmedi, an illeterate, says.

SP shocked

When Ahmedi and her mother approached Superintendent of Police M.M. Bhagwat, he was shocked to see the grave injuries on her hands. He admitted her to the Government hospital after paying Rs.1,000 and later briefed the case to the Collector K.Vijayanand, who in turn sanctioned Rs.5,000 to meet her medical expenses.

"This is barbaric," the SP told The Hindu . The doctors had to insert steal rods into both her hands. Though Rafi was arrested after a chase for 10 days and sent to judicial remand, Ahmedi is unable to come out of the trauma caused by the troubled marriage.