It seems like every other day produces a story resembling something out of the 13th century. This article on dowry killings in India is one of them.
The largest prison in Delhi, Tihar Jail, has a "mother-in-law" cell block, currently home to roughly 120 women, some of whom are serving 20-year sentences for murdering their daughters-in-law. The majority of these crimes stem from disputes over dowry: A bride whose dowry payments are viewed as inadequate is burned to death by her in-laws or husband, the cause of death listed as "kitchen accident." According to India's National Crime Record Bureau, one dowry death is reported every 77 minutes. The bureau recorded 7,026 dowry deaths in 2005 alone.
Since India opened up to foreign investment in 1990, the country has seen a rise in dowry-related violence alongside its economic boom. Dowry deaths surged from 400 a year in the mid-1980s to 5,800 a year in the mid-1990s, according to a 2001 report in Time magazine. The fact that more people are coming forward to report the crimes accounts for part of this increase, but official figures are still thought to reflect a mere fraction of the total number of dowry killings.