One woman dies every hour in India because of dowry-related crimes, women’s rights activists have said.
The National Crime Records Bureau said that 8,233 women were killed across India last year because of disputes over dowry payments given by the bride’s family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage.
The conviction rate in dowry-related crimes remained a low 32 percent, according to statistics the bureau published last week.
Women’s rights activists and police said that loopholes in dowry prevention laws, delays in prosecution and low conviction rates have led to a steady rise in dowry-related crimes.
Dowry demands have become even more insistent and expensive following India’s economic boom, said Ranjana Kumari, a women’s rights activist.
Suman Nalwa, a senior New Delhi police officer dealing with crimes against women, said dowry practices extended to all classes in society.
“Even highly educated people don’t say no to dowry,” she said.
Giving or receiving of a dowry is illegal under Indian law.