A teenager being sold by her father for Rs 5,000 managed a narrow escape on Tuesday.
Marginal farmer Dular Chand, father of Soni Kumari, 14, was about to sell her off to a middle-aged man in Bergi village in Jharkhand’s Giridih district, 180 kilometres south of state capital Ranchi.
Fortunately for Kumari, the villagers got wind of Chand’s plan.
Hari Ram, in his early 30s, the prospective bridegroom, came to Giridih from Hasanpur in Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi district with his friends with intention to buy a bride.
Indra Pal, one of his friends, had also married an under-aged girl in the district’s Shitalpur village three years ago.
On their arrival in Giridih three days ago, Hari Ram contacted Mohammed Aslam, the middleman. They paid him Rs 5,000 to buy Dular Chand’s daughter.
Dular Chand earns Rs 10,000 a year. Hari Ram and his friends visited Kumari’s home several times over the last three days. A group of villagers grew suspicious and questioned Aslam about it.
Initially Aslam feigned ignorance but later, under pressure, confessed to taking Rs 5,000 for the deal.
Enraged, the villagers thrashed Hari Ram, Aslam and Dular Chand and handed them over to the police. Indra Pal, however, managed to slip away.