Dumped by ‘fiancé’, pregnant teenager in Bengal seeks govt’s nod to end life
Police have launched a hunt for the accused after her letter to the Haldia SDO became public on Saturday.india Updated: Jan 14, 2018 10:34 IST
Dumped her neighbour who promised to marry her, a 17-year-old pregnant girl in a village in Bengal’s East Midnapore district has appealed to the administration to let her end her life.
Written in mid-December and exposed by the media only on Saturday, her letter to the sub-divisional officer of Haldia has shocked the district administration and rights groups. The police have launched a hunt for the accused Sintu Mandal of Khanpur village in Sutahata area. His businessman father Bachaspati Mondal, who refused to take responsibility for his son’s actions and even threatened the girl’s parents, was arrested Saturday night.
Villagers said the Mandals also refused to abide by the ruling of village elders who asked Sintu to marry the girl. The meeting of the villagers was held at Khanpur on November 15 and Sintu was asked to marry the very next day. But he went into hiding and allegedly called up the girl’s parents and threatened to kill them if they tried to pressurise him. The daughter of a labourer, the girl also has a younger brother.
In her letter, the girl who is nine months pregnant said Sintu Mandal, her neighbour, convinced her to get into a physical relationship by promising marriage but refused to tie the knot after she got pregnant. The girl’s parents said Sintu threatened them after she wrote to the administration. They also alleged that local police did not come to their aid despite repeated appeals.
“I did not get any help from the police. Under the circumstances, death is my only option. The man who promised to marry me is now declining to do so. What will the society say if I give birth to the child? Will the society accept this? It’s better that I die,” the girl said in the letter.
Officials said she wrote to the SDO after her complaints to the police yielded no result. The girl’s family alleged that some policemen even asked for money for tracing Sintu. “They are threatening us over phone. We are living in constant fear. Police are not taking any step only because we are poor people,” the girl wrote to Purnendu Shekhar Naskar, sub divisional officer (SDO), Haldia. “I will look into the matter and take action.”
“The administration cannot give permission to anyone to take his or her life. I have asked the local police to probe the matter. We will take necessary steps,” said V Solomon Nesakumar, superintendent of police, East Midnapore.
“We have to find the best solution,” said Lina Ganguly, chairperson of West Bengal Commission for Women.
Sunanda Mukherjee, former chairperson of the commission said, “We have witnessed the plight of many women but this is shocking. The local administration should have acted when the victim lodged her first complaint.”