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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Another Indian bridegroom arrested
Another Indian bride-to-be has had her groom and his family arrested for demanding an unreasonable dowry.
Nisha Sharma
Nisha Sharma's actions began a series of dowry disputes

Vidya Balasubramaniam told guests in Madras the ceremony was off because the groom's family had demanded a bigger gift on the day of the wedding.

Last month, Nisha Sharma became a celebrity overnight after abandoning her marriage in the capital Delhi and calling the police.

Her actions led several other Delhi women to protest at dowry arrangements but Ms Balasubramaniam's case is thought to be the first in southern India.

The groom's family had reportedly agreed to accept a certain amount of gold and silver, household articles and 15,000 rupees ($300) in cash.

We have arrested the groom and his parents under the anti-dowry laws and also for criminal intimidation
Police chief Jalad K Tripathy

They asked for more gold and household articles just before the marriage and tried to intimidate the bride's parents into complying, the complaint to police alleged.

The parents of Ms Balasubramaniam were reportedly still begging the bridegroom's relatives not to stop the marriage when the bride arrived with police.

Demanding a dowry is common in India but has been illegal since the 1980s.

Following the Nisha Sharma case, three Delhi girls had prospective husbands or family members arrested in dowry rows.

Another man in Delhi was arrested for allegedly beating up his wife of three days in a dispute over the size of the gift.

The bride's family had given about $2,100 to the groom's family but they continued to demand more.

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