India is probably the only country in the world where a jail for mothers-in-law has been opened. It is overcrowded now, by the way. A special wing of Delhi's prison Tihar was designed to house 114 prisoners, but in fact now it has to admit 1.5 times more.
Mothers-in-law are taken to the prison because they demand that families of their daughters-in-law must pay bride-money, which is by the way prohibited by the law. The problem drew considerable interest when a bride called police to her wedding in Delhi and asked to arrest the fiancй. She said that relatives of the fiancй started extorting money from her father at the height of the wedding celebration. A 21-year-old girl became really very popular because of the scandal.
Extortion of bride-money is still widely used in India; women whose families don't pay bide-money have to die as a rule. 5,500 women were killed in 1996 in India because of disputes about bride-money. Official statistics says that 7,000 women have fallen victims to such scandals last year. As a rule, husbands dissatisfied because of unpaid bride-money throw kerosene on their wives and set them on fire. Mothers-in-law testify in such cases that their awkward daughters-in-law spill kerosene over themselves while cooking.
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