Jharkhand: Tension in tribal village after girl marries Muslim man
The administration in Damuadih Advasi tola in Jharkhand’s Jamtara district has deployed a police contingent following tension after a tribal girl married a Muslim man from a neighbouring village.
Agitated by the marriage, tribal villagers on Sunday sealed the doors of the house of the girl’s parents with barbed wire after the family expressed its inability to cough up 12 maunds (one maund is approximately 37 kgs) each of rice and mutton as fine for her ‘crime’.
The tribals also threatened to ostracize the family and kill them if they did not pay the penalty. The village is about 60 km from Dhanbad.
However, timely intervention by the police saved the lives of the parents and brother of the girl who had married Sabbir Ansari from a neighbouring village on June 30.
Officer-in-charge of the Naraianpur police station Surendra Singh, who reached the village before the family could be lynched, said it took few hours to persuade the agitated tribal leaders who then agreed to remove the barbed wires.
They, however, insisted that the girl’s family will have to pay the fine imposed by the local panchayat.
Following police intervention, the panchayat is likely to meet on July 5 to reconsider the quantum of fine.
“It’s a difficult task to convince tribals to budge from their rules but certainly not impossible,” Surendra Singh.
He said armed police personnel have been deployed in village since Sunday afternoon to prevent any untoward incident.
Trouble started on June 30 when the news spread that sister of Jogeshwar Hembrom had married Ansari and that the couple was living at the groom’s house at Lakhanpur village.
Angry tribal leaders of the village met the family and sought explanation, terming the marriage as an insult to tribal society.
The girl’s family expressed its helplessness as she was rigid on marrying him and had left home for Ansari.
“We are being penalised for a fault committed by my sister, who is an adult and not ready to split with her husband,” said Jogeshwar, who pleaded with the police to save his parents and his own life from the agitated villagers.
He said attempts to persuade the panchayat to reduce quantum of fine keeping in mind their financial status had failed.
“My parents even offered to break all relations and perform last rites of my sister and treat her as dead but they refused and still are adamant that we would have to pay fine,” rued Jogeshwar.
Jharkhand has been rocked by a spate of lynchings in the recent past with Muslims mainly being the targets of tribals.
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