NEW DELHI: Rachna Sachdey a 25 year old woman married to a Flight Lieutenant committed suicide at their home in Kidwai Nagar on Tuesday night.

In her dying declaration to the area SDM, she said she had poured kerosene over herself and set herself on fire. However she refused to divulge the reasons for this, despite the SDM repeatedly questioning her about it at the Military Hospital where she was admitted with 95 percent burns. She died on Wednesday evening,

Her parents who came from Kanpur on hearing about the Buming have, however, told the SDM that Rachna’s husband, Fit Lt ‘Sham Sachdev was constantly harassing her for dowry.

The two had been married for a little over three years and have a two year old daughter, Shagun.

Rachna’s parents spent over Rs 1 lakh on their daughter’s wedding. According to her father, Mr. A.D. Malik just one day prior to the wedding, Sham’s mother asked them whether they were giving a color television, gold and diamond jewelry in addition to what they had already decided to give, a fridge and other household articles.

“As all our relatives had gathered for the wedding, we had to somehow save face and managed to collect all these things,” he said.

After a year Sham wanted a Maruti car. When Rachna’s parents said they could not afford to buy him one, he started beating his wife, alleged Mr. Malik. Her parents took her back to Kanpur when Rachna complained that the beatings had become unbearable.

Then, Sham wrote regularly saying how sorry he was and eventually Rachna was sent back to Delhi, Mr. Malik said. She delivered a baby girl in October 1986.

Sham began beating her again because she had given birth to a girl and not a son. He asked her to get a car and Rs 50,000 from her parents and the fights began increasing again.

This time Rachna decided she would go away from him and do a B.Ed course so that in the eventuality of a separation, she could be independent. She went to Agra University to study leaving her baby with her parents,

Again after she completed her course, Sham pleaded with her to return, she came back in April 1988.

After that, there were no major fights till this month. In between there were demands of money which the parents fulfilled said Mr. Malik, but there were no serious fights, Some days before Holi they had a major fight once again during which Sham made another demand for money. Rachna called up her parents who told her that they would come after Holi and settle the matter.

But according to a statement given by Fit Lt. Sham Sanchdev to the doctors at the Military Hospital on Tuesday night, they had a fight after which she went into the kitchen and set fire to herself.

Her parents were informed early on Wednesday and they rushed to Delhi.

No case has been registered as yet by the Kotla Mubarakpur police who are investigating the case.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 31, 1989