The police are hunting for a 35-year-old man who allegedly married a 12-year-old girl a week ago, after paying a bride price of 50 kilos of wheat, five kilos of ghee, three kilos of cooking oil, three cakes of bathing soap and two packets of tea. Some of the bridegroom’s family members alleged that Rs 2 lakh in cash was paid as well.
Gajendra Sen, a resident of the Chanana Bhakar area of Jodhpur, allegedly wed the minor girl on December 17, but both bride and bridegroom have since gone missing. “Unfortunately. the family does not want the police to interfere, and no one family member is cooperating with us,” said Pushpendra Singh Rathore, inspector in charge of the Pratap Nagar police station under which Chanana Bhakar falls.
“I had been told the bridegroom was 22-year-old,” Hawli, the girl’s mother, told HT. “When I found out the truth I tried to stop the marriage, but no one listened to me.”
When asked why she had married off her minor daughter, she replied: “I’m a poor widow and mother of five daughters. I cannot afford a proper wedding for my children.”
Locals alleged that the prime mover in the matter was her brother and the girl’s maternal uncle, Chimna Ram. “If the girl was indeed married off by her uncle in lieu of payment, be it in cash or kind, we will certainly help nab the accused,” said Jagdish Bhati, a leader of the Sen community to which both bride and bridegroom belong.