An 18-year old woman in Jharkhand’s Seraikela-Kharsawan district climbed a 150-feet electricity tower to demand that she be married to her boyfriend in a reenactment of a scene from Sholay - one of Indian cinema’s most iconic films.
She seems to have taken inspiration from the 1975 blockbuster in which Dharmendra’s Veeru climbs a water tank to protest against Basanti’s (Hema Malini) aunt who does not allow him to marry her niece.
On Sunday afternoon, Kalpana (name changed) climbed the tower and started shouting that if she is not married to her lover she would jump to her death at Jordiha village, about 50 km from Jamshedpur.
Soon, a huge crowd of curious onlookers and villagers gathered at the site. And as the news spread, Seraikela Police the spot with an ambulance, the fire brigade and a net.
Police said the woman had some altercation with her parents in the afternoon over her insistence to marry Vijay Das alias Guddu, a resident of nearby Manik Bazar village.
“Rebuked by her parents, the girl went to the tower near Jordiha village and climbed to the uppermost bar at around 3.30pm. Villagers first spotted her around 4pm after which we reached the spot,” a police official said.
During the harrowing four-hour long tense negotiations, the woman threw her mobile phone on the ground asking the policemen and her parents to call Vijay to the spot. Police succeeded in convincing the woman to climb down only after her parents agreed to her demands.
“It was tough with the girl’s life at risk atop the 150-feet high tension electricity transmission tower and high voltage electric wires all around. We kept talking to her and brought Vijay to the spot. We told her parents and Vijay to agree whatever the girl had to say. They did that and finally, we succeeded to convince her to come down at about 6.30pm,” KV Raman, Seraikela sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), told HT on Monday.
Raman said she fainted as soon as she climbed down from the tower and police took her to the Seraikela Sadar hospital.
“She is under medical observation but the doctors told us that she is now normal and would be released soon,” Raman added.