28 minor girls eloped in Punjab’s Ferozepur in six months; only 8 have returned
Over the past six months, parents of 28 minor girls belonging to rural and urban areas reported that their minor daughter had been ‘taken away’ after being misled. In all cases, the male who eloped has been listed as the accused.Updated: Jul 25, 2017 17:13 IST
In a district where even adults who marry according to their own choice usually face the family’s ire, a new issue — of minor girls eloping — is emerging as a new worry for parents and the civil society.
Over the past six months, parents of 28 minor girls belonging to rural and urban areas reported that their minor daughter had been ‘taken away’ after being misled. In all cases, the male who eloped has been listed as the accused. Of the cases registered, four girls were allegedly misled by males under the jurisdiction of Sadar, Cantonment and Ghallkhurd police stations. Three cases are from areas under rural town Mamdot and Guru Har Sahai and two each under the jurisdiction of Zira, Kulgari and Lakho Ke Behram police stations.
Police have traced girls in eight cases and handed them over to parents. but no headway was made into rest of the twenty cases, police sources said, pleading anonymity.
“The number of such cases could be higher, as in many cases of such nature, parents do not approach the police to save their ‘honour’. They keep hoping their daughter will return and they will arrange a ‘better’ wedding of their daughter in future,” said SN Rudra, a veteran social activist and educationist.
“Teenagers are the most vulnerable. With smart phones and internet, it is easy for anti-social elements to mislead innocent girls, especially adolescents,” he claimed adding that in such times, parents’ responsibility had increased
“By and large, parents need to be educate themselves on how to handle teenagers. They should avoid meeting all demands of their kids too quickly and must not habituate them to instant gratification. This is what leads to this elopement without any thought,” said Dr Rachna Mittal, a psychiatrist at the local civil hospital.
Rajbir Singh, SP (headquarters) Ferozepur, feigned ignorance of the registration of such cases, but assured that the matter will be looked into.