A well-meaning sexagenarian brought in the police to saving his grand nieces from the drudgery of a child marriage, only to get thrashed for his temerity by the girls’ other close relations.
“The arrival of the police saved the two sisters, just 13 and 14, from their scheduled wedding on Tuesday, thanks to Siddheshwar Upadhyay, who alerted us”, said Barhara block development officer (BDO) Nirmal Kumar Singh.
But Upadhyay, a cousin grandfather of the girls, had to pay a price for playing good Samaritan. “He has informed me he was badly thrashed by the girls’ close kin for playing spoilsport”, Singh told HT Wednesday.
“I have advised him to lodge a police complaint so that we can take action against the culprits”, the BDO added.
The twin child weddings were to take place on Tuesday at the Bakhorapur temple, dedicated to goddess Kali, under Barhara police station, about 8 km north of Ara, the district headquarter town of Bhojpur in south-central Bihar.
The temple wedding had been organised by Tarkeshwar Upadhyaya, son of Kailash Bihari Upadhyaya of Mahudahi village under Barhara block, for his two daughters.
“But thanks to the alert sent out by Siddheshwar Upadhyay, the police arrived on the scene before the baraat, and rescued the girls”, said Ara sadar BDO Madhav Kumar Singh, who had also rushed to the spot.
When asked by officials, who had reached the wedding site, the girls’ father could not produce any document to prove that they had attained the age of marriage.
“Then, we proposed to Tarkeshwar, the girls’ father, that the girls be taken to the Ara sadar hospital for a medical test to ascertain their age. But he refused”, the Ara sadar BDO recalled.
Thereafter, the officials asked Tarkeshwar to postpone the twin weddings till such time as he was able to produce certificates to prove that the two girls had attained the minimum marriageable age of 18 years.
“He has agreed to do so and that’s where the matter rests”, the Ara sadar BDO said.
The baarat, he said, was to come from Patkhaulia village situated under Koilwar block of Bhojpur.