A woman from the Indian state of Telangana has died in London in what her parents say are suspicious circumstances, according to local reports in India.
Thirumalagiri Swathi, from the Hanamakonda district of Telangana, was reported by her husband to have died after “falling into the sea”.
Swathi’s family however, have accused her husband Sripathi Rajesh – a software engineer working for IBM in London – of causing her death due to differences over dowry.
According to local news reports, Swathi’s parents and relatives are staging a protest outside Mr Rajesh’s house in the Machli Bazar area of Hanamkonda.
Swathi’s parents told one local newspaper that the couple had married in November 2016. They claim that Swathi had given Rs 3.5 million (approximately £40,000) as dowry.
The parents add that Mr Rajesh and his family however, were not satisfied with the dowry payment.
Speaking to the media during the protest, Swathi’s parents claimed that their daughter had complained about the “physical and mental harassment” she suffered at the hands of her husband and had said she wanted to return home to India.
The final communication between Swathi and her family took place on 2 October. Two days later Mr Rajesh is said to have called to inform her family that she had died in hospital following her fall into the sea.
No other details about her death have been made available and authorities in Britain are yet to make public any information about Thirumalagiri Swathi.
The payment of a dowry, which is outlawed in India but is still widely practiced, is a constant source of tensions between couples and families.
The size of the payment depends on a variety of factors, such as whether a potential groom is an IT worker and works abroad, which can drive up his “price” considerably.
One campaign group, Indian Ladies in UK (ILUK), which campaigns on behalf of women who have fallen victim to abuse due to dowry issues says the practice is particularly widespread in regions such as Telangana.
“We have dealt with so many women from this particular part of India who have been driven to suicide, who have been harassed, abused and often abandoned in India because the husbands or the husband’s family is dissatisfied with the amount of dowry paid by the girl’s family”, said Poonam Joshi, founder of ILUK.
“It is a particularly pervasive problem in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Whilst we don’t have the details of this particular case, it has all the hallmarks of someone who has fallen victim to this scourge”, Ms Joshi added.
The UKAsian has reached out to Mr Rajesh for comment.