RICKSHAW-PULLER Peter Abraham (38) and polio affected tribal Meena Gond (36) finally registered their marriage here on Thursday, overcoming all hurdles created by the Dharm Sena — a VHP outfit.
Marriage officer Deepak Singh registered the marriage in the court two days after Peter and Meena met Governor Balram Jakhar and alleged that the district administration under pressure from the Dharm Sena was not solemnising their marriage. The marriage of the lovelorn couple was solemnised under a heavy police cover .
The Civil Lines police brought the couple to the court and their marriage was solemnised in a few minutes in the first half of Thursday. Usually, court marriages are performed in the second half. The Dharm Sena did not get whiff of it.
Peter and Meena say they registered their marriage in the court because they want to follow their respective faiths after tying the knot.
The couple, accompanied by a delegation of the city Congress, had narrated their ordeal on January 8 to the Governor. Jakhar then directed the Chief Secretary to look into the matter.
The couple knocked the doors of the Raj Bhawan after the marriage officer had allegedly refused to solemnise their marriage on January 4 – for the second time — saying that the complaint against Peter was being probed. The Sena had lodged a complaint with the marriage officer, stating that Peter had lured Meena offering money and would subsequently convert her to his faith after marriage..
On January 4, local Congress leaders accompanied the couple with sweets and garlands, but had to return grumbling. When the couple and the Congress leaders protested, Collector Sanjay Dubey had assured them that the marriage would be solemnised on January 11. But, Peter and Meena, to be doubly sure, had sought the Governor’s intervention.
Peter had handed the mandatory 40-day notice to the marriage officer. The notice period ended on November 13. On December 13, after the notice period was over, the couple had gone to marriage officer Singh to register their marriage. On that day Dharm Sena activists didn’t allow them to tie the knot and chased them away. Sena lodged a complaint with Singh, alleging that Peter was converting the tribal woman to his faith.
Marriage Officer Singh, also the Deputy Collector, said the complaint against Peter was found baseless. A sub divisional magistrate, he said, inquired into the complaint. Singh said his office has gone by the book and has not succumbed to any pressure in solemnising the marriage.
Asked about a provision to give monetary incentive to promote inter-religion marriage, Singh said he would find it out.