societies such as India
, brides are burned alive if dowry
is insufficient. At least 5000 women die each year from dowry murder
, and the official cause of death is typically reported as a kitchen fire. The UN
estimates that as many as 25000 women may be killed each year. In most cases, the husband is not punished.
After payment of dowry, a Hindu wife can still be burnt at any time. If a husband accuses his wife of infidelity
, she must undergo a trial by fire. If she survives the fire, she is put to death because she will have suffered telltale burns that supposedly indicate her infidelity.
The historical practice of Jauhar
is a mass burning of all the wives and daughters in an entire town/district to prevent them from falling into the hands of enemies.