Minor opposes child marriage, beaten up and thrown out of house
The girl wishes to continue her studies and the marriage was fixed against her wishes.lucknow Updated: Jun 25, 2017 12:43 IST
A 15-year-old girl from an Uttar Pradesh village near Kanpur ran away from her home a day before her marriage, and returned only after it was called off, only to be beaten up by her family and thrown out.
Geeta (not her real name), who was taken out of school when she was in class 7 and wishes to continue her studies, said her marriage was fixed for June 12 against her wishes by her father, a farmer in Biwar village of Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh, 60 km south of Kanpur.
“I began protesting from the day they fixed my marriage. I kept doing so till June 10. No one in the family listened to me. I was threatened and mentally tortured for questioning the decision,” Geeta told the police.
Having failed to convince them, she ran away a day before the ceremony. From her hiding, she forced her parents to tell the groom’s family in Mahoba that she was not ready for marriage. After much deliberation the groom’s family decided to call off the marriage and Geeta returned home after three days of hiding.
All this time, she had moved constantly to avoid being caught by either of the families. But once home, she faced abuses and assaults from her parents and relatives, who tried to force her to get married. When she did not relent, they beat her up and threw her out of the house on June 14.
Fearing for her life, Geeta approached the police and lodged a complaint, seeking protection.
“She has told us that her family members are still hell-bent on marrying her off to the boy from Karhariya in Khanna of Mahoba district. She says she isn’t ready for the marriage,” said Sunil Kumar Shukla, Biwar station officer.
She has also threatened to commit suicide if her family doesn’t ease pressure on her, Shukla said.
Child marriages are common in Bundelkhand and most of the girls are married away when they are 15-16-years-old, especially during June-July, the marriage season.
While Geeta is staying at the police station, her family is not yet ready to take her back.
The police have involved local influential people to persuade the family to take her back.
They have also warned the family against forcing the girl to marry as they would be jailed under provisions of child marriage act.
“We have met the parents and told them they must take her with them and not exert any sort of pressure. Hopefully, they will take her soon,” Shukla said.