A 22-year-old mother was burnt alive in West Bengal's Birbhum district allegedly because of her dark complexion. The woman, before succumbing to her injuries on Thursday, told the police that her husband, three brothers-in-law and mother-in-law set her on fire after locking her inside a room on June 3.
Somera Bibi and her family were forced to pay dowry repeatedly to her husband Nasir Sheik's family as he threatened to divorce citing her dark skin as the reason. They also wanted to get Sheik married to a woman of fair complexion.
Sheik and his family are on the run now, and the neighbours also said that they may have taken Bibi's two-year-old son.
"For the first time, with her back to the wall, she started protesting. She said enough money had been given for the colour of her skin and there was none left to give. They wouldn't listen. They kept telling her to leave. They took her son away from her. They wanted to get Nasir married to someone fair," Khayer Hossain, Bibi's brother, was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.
The neighbours brought Bibi to a hospital after hearing her screams from inside the house. Sheik's family reportedly poured kerosene oil on her and set her afire.
The husband's family, over the years, has demanded and received Rs. 3 lakh from Bibi's family. Three years ago, Sheik's family received Rs. 1 lakh and 10 cottas of land during the wedding. And six months ago, they demanded Rs. 2 lakh. In the latest demands, Sheik's family allegedly demanded "whatever else her family had," according to the Telegraph.
Bibi's family has filed a police complaint against Sheikh and his family. Bibi's mother Tandila told the newspaper that she would fight the case in the court until maximum punishment was handed to the family.