A distraught wife in India will be scarred for life after her husband of eight years allegedly cut off her nose because her family couldn’t afford a marriage dowry. Kamlesh Rathore, 25, from Shahjahanpur, in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, said her husband, Sanjeev Rathore, 27, had been demanding a dowry of Rs 50,000 (£550) ever since they got married. A dowry is part of Indian custom and is either cash, jewellery or land that the bride’s family gives to the groom as a condition of any marriage.
‘He harassed me every day for the dowry. He was constantly demanding Rs 50,000. I repeatedly told him that my father is very poor and he cannot afford such an amount but he did not listen and used to threaten me that he’ll chop off my nose.”
‘He has beaten me for years. He’s used belts, slippers, sticks and has always tortured me. He used to accuse me of working as a prostitute and threaten to sell me. He was always drunk. During our eight years of marriage he was very harsh with me.’
On September 14, Kamlesh was cooking dinner when Sanjeev started shouting and demanding money again. She said that suddenly, from behind, her in-laws grabbed her and held her down while her husband allegedly chopped off her nose.
‘They all grabbed me tightly. I could not move. And then out of nowhere I saw a knife and he chopped off my nose,’ Kamlesh recalled.
Kamlesh, who has a six-year-old daughter, said her husband and in-laws fled as soon as they chopped off her nose. His last words were:
‘You’ll now be like this forever’.
Kamlesh quickly called her parents who lived nearby and they rushed her to the nearest medical centre. She was still bleeding heavily when she arrived at the primary health centre, in Shahjahanpur, where doctors were only able to dress the wound.
They could not re-attach the nose as Sanjeev had taken it with him. Kamlesh’s older brother, Sachin, 26, said the family cannot afford any future surgery for Kamlesh to fix her nose.
‘My sister’s husband has been very cruel. He has given her a terrible life and now this. He even took her nose and gifted it to the gods at his temple. He’s a sick man.’
Superintendent Manoj Kumar, at Khutar police station, in Shahjhanpur, said the husband and family are on the run. He said:
‘An FIR (First Information Report) is registered. This is a dowry case and the family were demanding money. We’re still chasing the husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister and brother-in-law. Until we catch them we cannot say any more.’