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Two women hoodwink family, marry each other at mass marriage ceremony

One of the women registered as a man, while the other brought in fake parents, according to the committee that organised the mass marriage ceremony.

lucknow Updated: Apr 23, 2018 16:48 IST
Hindustan Times, Agra
Same-sex marriage,LGBT rights,Uttar Pradesh
A same-sex union is a legal offence and social taboo in India where such relationships are often shrouded in secrecy and shame.(HT/Photo for representation)

Two women from Uttar Pradesh’s Agra, determined to live together as a couple, hit on a novel idea to thwart their families’ objections to their union, in the latest instance of same-sex love in a country that criminalises such relationships.

The women, both 20, got “married” on April 16 at a mass marriage ceremony organised by Bheem Nagari Organising Committee that holds the event every year to help poor Dalit families. One of the women registered as the “groom” and submitted all the documents as Kartik Shukla to the organising committee. The other registered as the “bride” and the two got married in the presence of the “bride’s family”.

“The committee organising the marriage took all precautions. The woman playing the groom presented an ‘Aadhaar card’ with the name Kartik Shukla and both came with fake parents,” Bharat Singh, the president of the committee, said.

“They said they knew each other for two years and wanted to get married. The groom appeared as a man and was wearing men’s attire, and thus, no suspicion was raised,” he added.

However, the family of the “bride” discovered on Sunday that the “groom” was also a woman and approached the police with a complaint of cheating. The mother of the “groom” said she was not aware of their “marriage”.

“My daughter completed Class 12 and went for computer coaching classes where she came to know the other woman and their friendship grew. She took admission for a graduation course and has been working in Agra city for the past six months,” she said.

“But she is now living with the other woman and we came to know about it only two days ago,” she added.

The mother of the “groom” said her daughter is fond of dressing as a man and sports a masculine hairstyle.

“I had four children, including a son. After he died, we brought her up as a boy and she used to wear boys’ clothes. But we had no idea of such result,” she said.

She said they were cheated by the family of the “bride” but also squarely blamed her daughter, who got married posing as a man.

The two women lived in different areas of the city till the “bride’s” family complained to the police. The police, however, said they could not do anything as the women were adults.

“Both the women are major in their early 20s and pursuing their graduation. So police could not intervene. We got a written statement from them and allowed them to go,” Ritesh Kumar, circle officer of Chatta, said.

A same-sex union is a legal offence and social taboo in India where such relationships are often shrouded in secrecy and shame.

Two women approached the police in Mathura last year and expressed their wish to live together as a married couple but said they were facing hostilities from both families who refused to accept the relationship.

Similarly, two women — a Delhi University student and a resident of Rajasthan’s Bharatpur — were pulled apart by their families last year after the couple ran away from home to live together.

Both lived in Jaipur for two years before being found by police investigating abduction complaints filed by their families. They are now battling family pressure to stay together.

First Published: Apr 23, 2018 16:48 IST