Jeeyaram, a 50-year-old bachelor, has earned notoriety as jamai raja (son-in-law) for reportedly spending a night each with 55 girls who were child brides and robbing the homes of his ‘in-laws’ before escaping.
The Barmer resident has had a free run for nearly 25 years because most of the aggrieved families have not come forward with complaints, fearing stigma.
Jeeyaram was held in March 2013 (not his first arrest), but released due to lack of evidence.
The rules of child marriage in Rajasthan purportedly made his victims easy prey. In accordance with the tradition of gauna, a child bride stays with her parents and moves to her husband’s home only when she becomes an adult. According to tradition, the female kin of a bride cannot interact with the son-in-law.
According to locals, Jeeyaram identifies a girl married off as a child and goes to her home when the menfolk are not around.