Woman ‘rejoicing mother-in-law’s death’ murdered by husband in India, police say

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Woman ‘rejoicing mother-in-law’s death’ murdered by husband in India, police say

A man in India killed his wife by hurling her off a balcony because he thought she was celebrating his mother’s death, according to police.

Initial media reports said Shubhangi Lokhande killed herself in western Maharashtra on Saturday because she was overwhelmed with grief over her 70-year-old mother-in-law’s death.

But an investigation into her death revealed the 35-year-old woman was actually murdered by her husband, who was apparently furious after she openly exhibited joy at his mother Malati Lokhande’s death, a police official said.

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Sandeep Lokhande is accused of throwing her off the second-floor balcony of their house in the Apatenagar suburb, according to India Today.

Mr Sandeep is currently in police custody and has admitted to the crime, the police official said.

“During the investigation, Sandeep said his wife was happy with the death of his mother and therefore, in a fit of rage, he killed her,” the police said.

“After the ailing Malati died on Saturday morning, Shubhangi became happy.

“She couldn’t hide her feelings. Sandeep was enraged by this behaviour of his wife and killed her the same day”.

The couple’s two children are now with Mr Sandeep’s parents after their father was arrested on Wednesday.

Violence against women is a widespread problem in India – more than 50 per cent of Indian men and women still believe that wife-beating can be justified.

One woman is killed every hour for not providing enough dowry – an amount of property or money given by a bride to her husband at the time of marriage.

But the conviction rate for crimes against women overall in India is very low – only 18.9 per cent and the lowest in a decade – according to the latest official crime statistics from 2016. The average conviction rate for all crimes is 47 per cent.

Sexual abuse in India is also highly prevalent – according to National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) data, a woman is raped every six hours in India. Across all rape cases, 95 per cent of rapists were not strangers but family, friends and neighbours.

Rape is one of the most under-reported crimes in India – with some estimates indicating 90 to 95 per cent of rape cases remain unreported.

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