NEW DELHI: Infidelity, suspicion and financial woes have emerged as the major contributing factors behind uxoricides in the city this year, the analysis of reported cases suggests. Wednesday’s incident of a man killing his wife, a housewife as most the victims have been, and stashing her body in the bathroom is the third reported in the past month.

Over two dozen crimes of his nature have been reported this year, indicating how the city’s homes are increasingly turning into dangerous battle zones for women. TOI collected and analysed the details of 15 prominent cases reported this year and found that the reasons behind the killings mostly had to do with suspicions about extramarital affairs and financial crises.
In one case, a 36-year-old man allegedly stabbed his wife to death after accusing her of engaging in an illicit relationship with a neighbour. Another case involved a 40-year-old woman and her two children being murdered in Jyoti Colony, with police saying the cause was the financial burdens of the family.
An in-depth analysis of murder cases registered by the police this year reveals that a significant percentage can be attributed to financial problems. These cases encompass a spectrum of financial pressures, including loan repayments, alimony, dowry disputes and overall family financial burdens. A man hired hitmen to eliminate his 35-year-old wife to evade further alimony payments, while in another gruesome incident, a 55-year-old builder brutally attacked his wife when she was sleeping following a dispute over pending dowry payments.
Mental health experts say that evolving societal dynamics and increasingly private relationships – where a couple comprises the only members in the family living in a house – usually have fewer outlets for resolution, leading to escalated situations. They felt that the cultural acceptance of domestic violence by society was a major contributing factor.
Nimesh Desai, senior psychiatrist and former director of the Delhi-based Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, said, “Right now, there is a dilemma in our emerging society, where there is dissonance between striking a balance between privacy and safety when it comes to intimate partner dynamics. When left unchecked, these issues can manifest as depression, anxiety and intense violent tendencies, ultimately driving individuals to extreme measures.”
He added, “The need of the hour for partners in society is to create a balance between finding a middle ground between safety and privacy. A safe environment needs to be created within society for reporting of minor instances of domestic troubles while at the same time respecting the privacy of couples.”
Psychiatrist Nand Kumar of AIIMS said, “When conflicts, frustration and violence get pent up for lack of a parallel thought process, more violent circumstances emerge that have extreme repercussions.”
Psychologists highlighted how many affected parties opted to remain silent and refrained from sharing their problems with other family members leading to a build-up of tension. Police officers concurred that reporting such matters in time could help prevent extreme circumstances. “We hold counselling sessions for couples at the Crimes Against Women Cell at Nanakpura in southwest Delhi and the exercise has helped nix many such possible scenarios,” said a senior officer. “We speak to both spouses and try to find an amicable solution and aim at resolving their conflict. However, the efforts prove futile in many cases and we often have to resort to punitive action.”

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