THE DISTRICT Marriage Officer on Thursday again refused to register the marriage of a Christian man and a tribal handicapped woman and the local Congress leaders, who had taken a pledge to help the couple get married and accompanied them to the court with sweets and garlands, had to return with long faces.
The Congressmen protested for half an hour against the move of the marriage officer. The couple – cycle-rickshaw puller Peter Abraham (38) and polio-affected Meena Gond (36) – had gone for the registration of the court marriage. But the Dharm Sena activists didn’t allow them to tie the knot and chased them away. Sena lodged a complaint with the marriage officer alleging that Peter was converting the helpless tribal woman to his faith.
On December 20, the Congress City chief Naresh Saraf and former JMC speaker Suraj Jaiswal had declared that they would mount pressure on the officials to ensure that the couple got married.
A Congress delegation had recently met the Collector and handed him a memorandum demanding that the marriage be registered as soon as possible. Saraf said that last time round, the marriage officer fixed the court marriage date for January 4.
But on Thursday, after a lot of dilly-dallying, additional collector Dipak Singh refused to register the marriage, he said. Saraf said, “We protested and met the Collector Sanjay Dubey who had assured us that he would get the marriage registered on January 11.”
He said, “We are not going to sit idle. The Congress is planning to take the couple to the Governor Dr Balram Jakhar and petition him.” “Can a rickshaw puller afford to give money to a woman to convert to his faith? Aren’t these allegations of saffron organisations ridiculous?” he asked. When contacted, Marriage Officer Dipak Singh said the marriage wasn’t registered because the marriage court couldn’t sit.