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Killed 45 Days after her Wedding: Anshu’s Story

August 27, 2010


This is the story of 23-year-old Anshu Singh, who on January 25, 2010, was murdered by her husband and in-laws just 45 days after her wedding.  Her story is a grim testimony to the fact that dowry related extortions and murders occur even among the wealthy, educated, and professional sections of Indian society. And among these criminals are officers of law enforcement!

This case is ongoing, and we are in touch with Mr. Girendra Singh, Anshu’s father who had approached the 50MM for support.  This is our flickr discussion and update forum for Anshu’s case. Do add your comments and suggestions if you have any.  As the Singh family presses on for the conviction of Anshu’s killers they are being subject to all kinds of harassment. If you are in Delhi and can be of any help to Mr. Singh’s case, please contact him directly or contact us.

Anshu was the middle girl among three sisters. She was bright, ambitious, and well educated.  At the time of her murder she was working for a multi-national corporation in Delhi.  She had met her husband through work, and they had been dating for 3 years before they got married.

Initially there was some objection to their getting married from the man’s family because they were from different communities. But Anshu’s father said, “If the two of them are in love, why should we come in the way?”

However prior to the wedding Mr. Singh had informed the groom’s family that though he did not intend to give them any dowry, he wanted to gift his daughter some household items, just as he had his older daughter, to ensure she had a comfortable start to her marriage.

The groom’s family indicated that they would prefer he gave them the cash so they could buy the items themselves.  Their list of purchases kept growing and eventually Mr. Singh ended up giving them Rs. 3.5 lakhs (just under $9,000.00)

When Mr. Singh asked for the receipts to ensure that they were purchasing what they said they were, they had no receipts to show. Some unpleasantness then ensued, and Anshu began to feel uncomfortable about the wedding. Mr. Singh thought, “The money does not matter. Let it go. What is more important is that perhaps this is not the right man for Anshu.” However the groom’s family convinced Anshu that it was all a misunderstanding, and Mr. Singh conceded to his daughter’s wishes.

After the wedding however, they started pressuring Mr. Singh for dowry almost right away. The in-laws constantly talked about needing money for this or that, and expecting Anshu to somehow provide the cash. At one point they directly demanded a sum of Rs. 5 lakhs ( $12,500/-) for their younger son’s education. They also wanted money for the father-in-law’s promotion and posting to another state. The father-in-law is in the police and in this other post he would earn more, but to get the promotion he had to bribe his seniors.  Mr. Singh began to realize that for these people it was all about money and greed.

Anshu and her husband had rented a separate flat but every evening, after work, they would go to her in-laws house and have their dinner there.  Anshu would do the cooking and help with the housework in the evenings and on weekends. The couple would return to their flat to only to sleep at night.  It was a strange arrangement that was insisted on by the husband and in-laws.

Four weeks into the marriage when the money demands refused to abate, Anshu did not want her father to be worried or burdened anymore.  So without telling him she started taking out loans herself to pay her in-laws.  She could manage these loans since she was a professional with a good job at an MNC, and her in-laws were aware of that.

Her husband also became abusive.  Initially he was verbally abusive, but soon he began to also periodically hit out at her.  When Mr. Singh found out he was very upset, and wanted her to leave, but he says, “I talked to Anshu.  She was a strong girl and she assured me that it was going to be o.k. She would take care of the situation.”

The day before Anshu died, on January 25, 2010, she sent one last sms to her sister.  She wrote “Shivank (her husband) has changed completely after marriage. He is not the person he was before. He is not a good person.”

Whatever that happened that day is probably very critical to understanding the cause of Anshu’s murder.  Many questions remain unanswered.  What event had suddenly prompted her to decide that her husband has changed?  If she was now convinced that he was not a “good person,” had she already made plans to leave him, and had she told him so? If she divorced her husband she could very well demand that they return the thousands of dollars that they had extorted from her already, and the family certainly wouldn’t want to pay up.

It is believed that when Anshu returned from work on that fateful evening, she first went to her own flat. The duplicate key to that flat which her husband had, was probably the one used by the goons hired to assault and kill her.  It is believed that there may have been 2-3 people involved.  Mr. Singh says that the autopsy reports show that Anshu was violently assaulted, and that the cause of death was “ASPHYXIA due to antemortem hanging.”

Possibly the intention was to stage suicide by hanging. But the husband and in-laws, later that evening decided otherwise, and they took her down and lay her on the bed.

They then called Mr. Singh and informed him that Anshu was unwell and may have fainted.  Mr. Singh came right away and he knew immediately that she had been dead for quite some time.  The Singh family was shocked.   Their daughter had been married for barely a month!   A traumatized Mr. Singh says, “It all happened so fast. Only 45 days that she was married and she was gone. We never thought something like this can happen to us. Anshu was a young, bright, modern girl with so many dreams. She was intelligent and strong.  I don’t think even she ever thought that something like this can happen to her.”

Currently, Anshu’s husband is under arrest pending trial. Her in-laws are all absconding.  Anshu’s father-in-law was in the police.  Due to pressure from him the police investigating Anshu’s murder were very slack in their probing. They did not even bother to cordon off the suspected crime scene.  With the police failing to gather evidence properly, the fear is that Anshu will not get justice in court.

Every 20 minutes, a young married woman in India, like Anshu, falls prey to cold-blood, premeditated gang-murder by her own husband and in-laws. This is a crime that is now out of control!

The 50 Million Missing Campaign wants to ensure that Anshu’s story stays alive in our hearts and minds so justice is done, and she does not become another nameless victim in that lineup of thousands of young  Indian women who have died similarly.   We will circulate her link periodically, and we request you to do the same.  Please help keep Anshu’s story alive.

The 50MM has also started a WAR ON DOWRY movement on Facebook. Do join the war!

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52 Comments leave one →
  1. Regina Nash permalink
    September 1, 2010 8:47 am

    This is evil, crime like this should be prosecuted. I hope the Indian judiciary and police is not corrupt. If you need legal advice get in touch I do pro bono work. I have done a murder case in Asia and have successfully locked up the murderers.

  2. November 26, 2010 11:01 pm

    Very nice article, thanks…

  3. Malcolm Arnold permalink
    January 19, 2011 8:25 am

    I sit here silently after reading this article . I am amazed at the cruely and hatred we humans enflict on others for an extra bit of money and power . neither of which bring a single moment of lasting happiness .My thoughts go to the family of this young woman . quite literally no words can describe my great feeling of sadness . I am numb .When oh when are we going to be loving towards each other

    • January 27, 2011 12:08 pm

      Thanks Mr. Arnold, I am the unfortunate father of beloved Anshu Singh, your sentiments shows that you are a sensitive human being, thanks for your concerns.

      I pray to Almighty God not to give such pain to anybody.

      It is so tough to fed-up the images of your beloved one, who was so modern and futuristic towards her carreer and aims.

      She was not hearing sometimes to us, she was of the believe that now in-laws family is her family, i will prove everything right, you don’t worry. But, such persons doesn’t give her time to prove and her mother-in-law never accepted her since beginning.

      I am so sorry to making all of you sad.

      with regards
      Girinder Singh

      Girinder_Singh@yahoo.com
      Girender.s@rediffmail.com

  4. mukesh mehta permalink
    January 27, 2011 8:24 am

    Punish such family in publicily.

  5. Elizabeth O'Gorman permalink
    January 27, 2011 1:27 pm

    And this is happening in a country that is – along with China – becoming commercially successful. A country where cows are more sacred than women! While corruption prevails in the Police force and in other high places nothing will be done to bring these criminals to justice and the more they get away with the more prevelant their crimes will become — it’s time to call a halt. Greed is a stronger force than all other human feelings — it even over rules love. Good people should unite against atrocities inflicted on the vunerable anywhere in the World.

  6. sumana senbagchee permalink
    January 27, 2011 10:46 pm

    Being a woman and mother of a daughter who now has a daughter of her own, makes me that much angrier and heartbroken to read these lives and see these faces. Don’t know how or when, but certainly since antiquity women in all cultures and races have suffered rape, mutilation, torture, hate, and also death. And the bitter irony of this history is particularly made more bitter when I hear certain groups of Indians dramatically claiming that they worship “Shakti”, the embodiment of power as a female force. I hear this particularly from my learned academic friends, smug in their smug lives and occupations, carefully hiding behind that facade and yet I think they are all inwardly capable of the same offences–just that they lack the opportunity.

  7. Janet Wiegers permalink
    January 29, 2011 9:10 am

    This is to all the people who may read this story. My all men and there families stop and
    think, this union is done in the eyes of GOD ,Alla,Buda or whatever name you may give him .He is the one to bless this union.And to whatever they have done this will also be seen by God. No amount of money is going to help them when it’s there turn to stand before God. Anshu has taken her turn to stand before HIM .He has opened his arms to her. Now what do these people think is going to happen to them when it’s there turn? (please excuse my spelling).
    My heart and prayers are with her birth family. May God bless Janet Wiegers

  8. Rosetta Milton permalink
    February 4, 2011 2:15 am

    It is amazing that in this century, women are still subjected to such inhumane treatment. This is supposed to be a civilised world. When will society realise we are mothers, sisters, wives. the world cannot continue without us. As a world we have to ensure no one suffers the same fate as Anshu, may her soul rest in peace. Remember God is in charge.

  9. Anonymous permalink
    February 14, 2011 5:38 pm

    it is awful.punish all that types of people.

  10. June 2, 2011 7:21 pm

    I have read of many atrocities committed against women & young girls in the so-called third world countries. Every day, I thank God that I was born in the USA. I did, however, believe that India was more modern & progressive than many of the other countries one reads about. Apparently not. My heart goes out to Anshu’s family. Anshu died on my birthday. I sit here typing with tears in my eyes, wondering why the lack of a penis can make a human being a target of such cruelty.
    What I just cannot understand is that women, ( the object of almost every man’s fantasy & desire, to the point of the fact that in some places, one woman is not enough for a man,) can be treated with such cruelty all over this world. Never mind that there would be no men without women. The very fact that humanity, indeed, almost everything that lives, from both the animal kingdom & the plant kingdom needs both genders to reproduce should put women at the same level of equality as men.
    Statistically, men commit more murders, commit more crimes, tend to more deviant behaviors towards other humans & animals, than women ever do. It is ever so wrong on every level & in every country. All we as women can hope & pray for is that after life, whatever one’s beliefs are, is that the afterlife or heaven, will be a just & kind place.
    To the Singh family, & to all the families whose female members have suffered at the hands of others, I send my prayers in hopes that you will receive justice, & achieve some sense of peace in your hearts & minds some day. There are no words to convey the depth of feeling for such a horrible ending to what seemed to be a beautiful life.
    Most Sincerely,
    Patricia

  11. October 19, 2011 11:29 am

    I am so sorry for all the terrible things happening in India to women because of dowries and other minor things and of Anshu’s murder it made me cry that anyone especially the man she married and his family could be so cruel,they were only after money which they had no right to as well as for themselves,we in England do not have dowries we give ourselves and maybe the parents of us women would give furniture or household things and even buy such things to help out the new couple,The men should not get away with these crimes and also cannot understand why women as young as 15 would be forced to marry,it seems to me that some families are wanting to sell there daughter to highest bidder even if they are unhappy and this young woman can end up dead for stupid reason’s, this young woman has had no life and its terrible RIP for all those women suffering by the husbands and families and may this law change..No-one should profit by someone else’s suffering.

  12. Anonymous permalink
    October 31, 2011 11:28 am

    It is very sad in this modern time it is still happening in the 21st century. Women stand up and change the laws in your country to make it safer and fight for your rights not only for yourself but your daughters and the younger generations to come.
    Goddess bless women, the mother of earth and the queen of the world

  13. December 23, 2011 4:33 pm

    Marriage is also hyped up way too much and is highly overrated. If there weren’t so much emphasis on marriage, dowry demands would become irrelevant…..

    • Sara permalink
      December 9, 2013 2:30 pm

      Amen. You just spoke my mind!

  14. Hanne Thorhauge permalink
    December 31, 2011 3:52 am

    This kind of terrible crime must end now. It is possible if there will be taken sufficient actions, first the indian government must make laws, with clear signals to the population that there will be servere punishment for such cruel crime. Next it should be learned by children in schools, that crimes of that kind is oldfashioned and will no longer be tolerated in these days. There could be arranged campaigns in television.

  15. emery permalink
    January 18, 2012 1:13 am

    the point that law enforcement officers are among the criminals who demand dowry is an important one. however I found evidence that much higher ranking government officials than just traffic cops are involved. I found 4 MP’s and a governor who have far more sons than daughters. meaning they probably killed there daughters. so here are the first 5 inductees into the daughter killers hall of shame: 1. Nedurumalli Reddy MP Andhra Pradesh sons 4 daughters 0, Shri Ratanpuri MP Kashmir sons 3 daughters 0. 3. Vilasrao Deshmukh MP Maharahtra sons 3 daughters 0. 4. Margaret Alva Governor of Uttarahand state sons 3 daughters 1. 5. Thankappan Acharya secratary general of the Lok Sabha and Lok Sabha secretariat sons 3 daughters 0. I’m shore many more names will be added to this list. If i could speak Hindi I probably could have gotten a lot more. I think it is vary important to uncover such criminals in the government so they can be removed from office and we can finally get some action out of the Indian government on this issue!

  16. Anonymus permalink
    January 27, 2012 3:40 pm

    This is awful and people like these should be punished, insulted in the society.
    My family is very consvertaive where still family gives valuable to daughter so that a maaraige will be in a good family.Sometimes they are forced to spend money in terms party or diffrent arrangement for social status sake. I was always against big fat wedding and requested my parents and immediate family to gift me in cash if they want to and before my marraige it was put in an Fixed deposite.This intellingent decision was provided by my father in law and my husband.Somehow i believed that this is how educated people behaves now a days but to my surprise its not.Its a weird scenario when I was talking a female friend and she belongs to the same cast as mine. He Mother in law asks either her or her family some kind of gift or money on every festival saying it some or other ritual. She wanted to confirm with me and i told her that my family to follow the rituals but there is no necessaity of associating it with any valuables or Money. This is another scenario of dowry which is prevelent in most of the educated families in india naming it as some custom/ritual.

    I believe any ritual/custome shouldn’t burden anyone financially or emotionally if it does then there is change required. We(educated)people should not accept or follow it blindly. If our elders wants us to do that we need to make them understand rather than encouraging them.

    I have been married for an year now and I thank god to provide me with such a wonderful in laws and understanding husband. Please try to sense the family and the guy before marraige by taking sufficient time rather hurrying into decision.

    RIP Anshu

  17. April 12, 2012 12:06 am

    Im am also married to an indian, but now the situation is becoming worse, though my husband does not directly ask for dowry, but he nwould tell me that, ” I don’t give any single paisa”…. he would beat me even right after ceasarian delivery, he blamed me for him being indebtedm due to cost of c-section operation, his mother gave me a bunch of rags for my baby, they did not allow me to eat after delivery i went hungry and they refused to give me medicines. I have baby girl, but my husband wanted a boy…. so these experience of mine is also a form of abuse, i attempted suicide

    • April 12, 2012 5:25 am

      @Jenny — It is appears from your comment that you are not Indian. We assume you have the passport to the country you are from. Could you tell us which country you are from? Perhaps we could contact your embassy and request them to help you get out with your baby, and perhaps return to your country if you’d prefer. We’d strongly advise you to get out of this marriage and take your baby with you because neither of you is safe. Please contact us. If you prefer you can email us privately at 50millionmissing@gmail.com Just indicate your name in the subject of the email. Hold strong, we are with you.

    • emery permalink
      April 17, 2012 9:35 pm

      Jenny i would also add that because the paperwork may take a while to go through if your husband destroyed your passport which I’m shore he did than you need to arm your self as best you can. .

    • neha sapra permalink
      May 20, 2013 4:33 pm

      Don’t try to commit suicide leave ur husband right now without second thought…

    • neha sapra permalink
      May 20, 2013 4:35 pm

      Don’t try …leave ur hubby right away

  18. September 29, 2012 4:33 pm

    I think we ladies need to think by using brain and not by heart. If you feel like something is wrong just kick the relation before the relation kills you..

  19. neha sapra permalink
    May 20, 2013 4:29 pm

    Now it’s been more than 3yrs….our govt and police has not taken strict action against these culprits.
    Anshu left so many questions which these culprits has to answer..I miss my best friend and I really ashamed that these people are still alive after murdering a innocent girl just for dowery…..

    • Kobe Candido permalink
      August 3, 2013 2:21 pm

      In India, the National law and Society, must get rid of the “DOWRY-SYSTEM”….it seems that this is at the root of all these murders of the nations females!…..????….

    • August 3, 2013 8:33 pm

      It is illegal, as is murder. But the police acts on neither!

  20. August 3, 2013 1:18 pm

    Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  21. August 3, 2013 2:47 pm

    Reblogged this on auguries14.

  22. Stephanie permalink
    August 4, 2013 3:03 am

    Every day, every single day, I see stories of the injustices toward women throughout the world. I am repulsed by the people that could have done this to such a bright and hard working woman. Dowries are an ancient ritual that should be snuffed out completely. We are not items to be bought, we are humans. Her family sounds modern and open minded and I’m so sorry that they have lost their daughter. I wish I could fly across the world and fight for these women and bring justice for Anshu Singh myself. I am not religious, so I’m afraid my prayers won’t help, but know that I will be sharing this story to help bring awareness.

  23. Indira Gocool permalink
    August 5, 2013 10:31 pm

    Money is the root of all evil. This is so sad, my heart goes out to the singh’s family. Ansu in laws cannot get away from the court of god.Mr singh the good lord is on u side and i truly believe that justice will be served.

  24. Mala permalink
    August 6, 2013 12:53 pm

    Well the husband and in- laws should be punished and women out there, if there is a dowry involved do not get married am sure you are able to find man who suports NO DOWRY system.

  25. August 7, 2013 8:24 am

    OMG, such horror women suffer….every single female should unite and clamour until their voice is heard universally! ..Men…. without women you would never exist!

  26. mona permalink
    August 21, 2013 1:18 pm

    i have request to all the parents out there who have children (boy & girl). When you decide to get your daughters or sons married. please first rule out on some dirty tradition of give and take policy. you do court wedding, host a reception and rest of the money deposit on your daughter or son’s name. The interest which fetch’s out of that can be gulped by in-laws till their death..

    If there is dowry harassment or any money transactions by in-laws where the if the groom / boy not involved. speak to him and let him take the decision if he wants to continue the relationship wife or parents. If he is also greedy. Have an amicably settled so that we don’t lose out on our daughters or sisters.

    All the women out there be emotional strong when you are in love or when you get married. There is nothing impossible for women. She is kali and even sarawathi. Be good to person who is good to you. Standby the person (he or she) who is unconditional.

  27. socialawareness2013 permalink
    August 30, 2013 1:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Social Awareness.

  28. Lizzie Chase permalink
    August 30, 2013 7:17 pm

    Mr Girinder Singh

    I am so sorry to hear about what has happened to your lovely daughter. Please be assured that your family is in my thoughts and that I will not forget Anshu’s story. Please do not worry about making us all sad – we are thinking of you and your sadness.

  29. Jehan Mir, MD permalink
    August 31, 2013 6:31 pm

    I thought ‘dowry business’ had been made illegal in India years ago.This is the reason why people in India don’t want daughters and abort female fetuses. I don’t know when people are going to learn.

  30. Sara permalink
    December 9, 2013 3:31 pm

    My comment may be too late (and too long :)) but it would be great if you could read & leave your opinion:

    There are so much atrocities on educated, smart, middle/upper class women too. I have a good job by God’s grace, but I too landed in a very similar situation (mine was an arranged marriage though, and I was saved from murder purely by God’s grace & very, very timely support from friends.)

    What really irks me is that all the so called “men’s groups” claim that every educated woman files false cases on her husband. They cry out loud that they are being “harrassed”/”legally tortured” by their wives, while most of them would have definitely inflicted varying degerees of violence and/or extortion from their wives. My ex himself claimed “I never hit her” “I never touched her” etc. And I believe all (ok, if not all, most of) those characters howling & crying out on those “men’s forums” or “family (??!) forums” that they never did anything aren’t actually innocent.

    And I noticed that the media too is leaning towards the above said groups. Of late I’ve been noticing that any news where the wife is murdered after several demands for cash is being published as “woman _allegedly_ murdered” even if the husband’s involvement is proven, while any man’s claims that his wife is having an affair is published as “… was having an affair..” and NOT as “allegedly having an affair”.

    Examples:

    Women were “allegedly” harassed for dowry:
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/air-force-officer-arrested-for-alleged-dowry-harassment/article5437108.ece

    Woman was ‘killed’ (the reporter has quoted the word “kills” in the _Headline_ as if the wife wasn’t killed at all – the husband actually killed the woman and her mother too, and it was proven), for not disclosing info about her previous marriage (and NOT “alleged previous marriage” or “allegedly not disclosed”. The “previous marriage” and the non-disclosure about it is a claim by the man about the dead wife. She is not alive to dispute it or admit it, but the media prints it as though they were witnesses to it)
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/techie-kills-wife-motherinlaw/article5351871.ece?ref=relatedNews

    In the below link, the media says that the woman was having an affair (no proof, but media has confidently printed the husband’s version – that the wife was going around with another man to various tourist places. It is a ridiculous claim, but still there the news is “having an affair” and NOT “allegedly having an affair”!), and the man “.. was arrested for _allegedly_ attacking his wife’s friend…”:
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/man-booked-for-murder-attempt-on-wifes-friend/article5368791.ece

    I left a comment on the above page bringing the bias to the editor’s (or who ever reviews the comments) attention, but it wasn’t published!

  31. Sara permalink
    December 9, 2013 4:13 pm

    It’s me again:) Almost forgot.. here’s another link I wanted to paste – A sensible article by a lady judge. But don’t forget to see the vitriolic comments from the “men”folk (the “498 is misused” cry-babies. One of them calls himself a doctor, but doesn’t even seem to know proper English – obviously he just typed a “Dr.” in front of his name, just to counter a previous comment made by a real lady-doctor):
    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/in-search-of-the-ordinary-woman/article5222195.ece

  32. December 26, 2013 2:13 am

    This is pure evil that poor girl,how can things like this happen in India or anywhere but this is so disgusting that families use there son’s to extort money from the brides family,I would think that these sort of families deserve not money but should be made to suffer what they do to these girls..How dare the grooms family think that they should live off of the brides family.

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