A 20-year-old woman from Kanpur, struck by cupid over Facebook, travelled over 700km to her virtual lover’s home in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad hoping to get married, only to find that he had fled.
Welcomed with ridicule and rejection by his family, the woman, who did not want to be named, has threatened to commit suicide at his doorsteps.
“Now, either my ‘dolly’ (palanquin) or ‘arthi’ (coffin) will leave this house,” she said.
The aspiring doctor has been staging a dharna at the door of Santosh Sharma, also in his 20s, for the past 72 hours, claiming that they have been in relationship over Facebook over the past three years.
The situation appeared humorous to most of the villagers of Bada Jamua initially, but turned grave on Friday after Santosh’s father Kamta Sharma refused to entertain her and she threatened suicide.
The woman, preparing for medical entrance, said she befriended Santosh, an engineering student in West Bengal’s Burdwan, on Facebook in 2013. They soon exchanged contact numbers and started interacting over phone. They first met in 2015 in Patna and later in Kolkata.
“He promised he would marry me. The infinite selfies are evidence of our surreal love,” she said, accusing Santosh of distancing himself from her over the past six months.
So she decided to come to Dhanbad, along with a friend, and confront Santosh, but he decided to flee on seeing his virtual ‘girlfriend’ in flesh and blood at his residence.
Police were called, but they were also helpless. They took her to the police station for negotiation, but failed.
The drama took another turn on Friday morning, when the woman’s father Sudhir Ram came looking for her.
“I can’t forcibly take her away. I can only request and try to convince her,” said the helpless father, who too is camping in the village.
Police have now asked Santosh’s father to bring him home by Saturday evening to resolve the issue.
“I have never seen such a case till date. We need to deal with it maturely,” said Dinesh Kumar, officer in-charge of Barbadda police station.
Psychiatrists ruled out possibility of a psychological disorder in the woman. However, they said she needs counselling, not from experts, but her own parents and friends.
“The virtual world is all rosy. People usually can’t cope up if the real world fails to match their imagination. She needs time and counselling,” said Dr Amool Ranjan of Ranchi Institute of Neuro Psychiatry and Allied Sciences.