A man who slept with 55 brides before decamping with their jewellery died alone in Nimbalkot village of Sindhari, close to the international border in western Rajasthan’s Barmer district. He never married and lived alone.
Jiyaram Jat, 54, had 18 cases against him in various police stations of Barmer, a record of which was maintained at Sindhari police station since 1994. He died on Saturday and was cremated by police.
Sindhari station house officer Ramniwas Bishnoi said Jat was arrested in 2004 in molestation case, and at the time he had preyed on 55 brides, as he revealed nine years later.
During interrogation, Jat said he only targeted ‘dhanis’ — small houses on farmlands usually occupied by a single family — where a girl married as a child was ready for ‘gauna’, Bishnoi said.
Child marriage is still prevalent in several parts of India, including in western Rajasthan. The practice of sending child brides to their husbands when they become adults is called ‘gauna’.
Jat would only strike when women were alone in the house. “He would walk into such households after nightfall and introduce himself as the girl’s husband. Since she was married in childhood, she wouldn’t recognise him,” the officer said.
He would then copulate with the bride, and decamp with the jewellery to be sent with the girl to her in-laws before daybreak.
Bishnoi said most families didn’t inform the police for fear of ignominy in society. However, some did file molestation and cheating cases against him.
After his 2004 arrest, Jat lay low until 2013, when he was back on the prowl for his 56th victim — but was caught. In December 2013, HT reported how Patodi police caught him near Chilanadi village, where was stalking a prey in Bheelon Ki Dhani.
Jat’s long criminal record of targeting child brides earned him the sobriquet ‘Jamai Raja’ in police files.