The Kota Central Jail turned into a wedding venue when 27-year-old Mahesh Kumar from Baran married 25-year-old Devika Mehra in the presence of some close relatives from both sides on Tuesday.
On April 27, Mehra and her mother, Kamla, were arrested in connection with the death of her sister-in-law, Usha Bai, in October 2016. Police had named seven members of her family for killing Usha for dowry but had arrested only two people.
Devika got engaged to Kumar on April 26, a day before she was arrested. The couple had planned to tie the knot at a mass wedding in Anta, Baran, on May 9.
Mehra moved Rajasthan high court for bail for the wedding but her application was rejected on Monday. The court, however, granted them permission to perform the rituals in jail.
On Tuesday, Kumar came to Kota with seven family members and went to the central jail without the usual fanfare associated with weddings. From the bride’s side, her brother, Gajanand, and father, Babulal, were present. The guests were allowed to enter the jail one at a time after frisking.
“The family decided to solemnise the wedding on the decided date without waiting for her bail as other rituals had already been performed,” said Kumar after the wedding.
He said that it did not matter to him that his wife is facing trial for a dowry death and the maximum punishment can be life imprisonment.
Sudhir Prakash, the jail superintendent, said a jail ward was decorated and the administration arranged for a priest and a registrar. “The wedding was a simple affair. This is for the first time in my career that I have witnessed a wedding inside a jail,” he added.
The staff at the jail, too, witnessed the unique wedding as the couple carried out all the rituals.
Kumar, who was happy he could marry Mehra, was upset about the fact that he couldn’t take his wife home. “We will go to a higher court to seek bail,” he said.