In a bizarre incident from Odisha’s Kalahandi district, a wedding ceremony caught the media headlines as too many twists in the tale led to the entry of police at the end. On Tuesday evening, as the wedding ceremonies were to take place, the would-be-bride eloped with her boyfriend leaving the groom waiting.
But that was not all. There is another twist in the tale. After their daughter eloped, bride’s family offered her minor younger sister for marriage. The groom was then married off with the girl’s 15-year-old younger sister. Thankfully, the minor girl was rescued from her in-laws’ house as child marriage is prohibited in India. The drama unfolded when the bride from Malpada village eloped with her boyfriend on Tuesday evening, just a few minutes before her marriage with the 26-year-old groom.
However, soon after his wedding to the minor girl, district administration reached his house and took away the bride. The Jaipatna Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) along with the police team reached the groom’s house at Tentulikhunti at around 4 am and rescued the girl.
The girl, who was preparing for her Class 10 examination, was rescued and handed over to her brother, Kalahandi district child protection officer Sukanti Behera said. Neither the bride’s parents nor the groom’s family was aware of the fact that child marriage is illegal, she said.
The groom’s family members were also counselled and told that the girl was a minor and is not of marriageable age, The New Indian Express reported.
The girl opted to stay in her parents’ house and to appear for the examination. ‘A counselling session was organised for both the families. No case was registered against them. They agreed not to solemnise the girl’s wedding before she attains the marriageable age of 18 years, Behera said.
Asked about the incident, the girl’s father claimed that he agreed to arrange her younger daughter’s wedding due to peer pressure.