Minor refuses to marry 70-year-oldSeptember 16th, 2008 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS
Patna, Sep 16 (IANS) Asserting her right to refusal, a 15-year-old girl here declined to marry a septuagenarian and ran away from the marriage ‘mandap’, police sources said Tuesday.The poor minor girl Kanchan Kumari Monday night stunned her family and relatives when she refused to marry a retired government official Sunder Bhagat, 70, in the Bihar capital.
Police sources said the girl, clad in traditional bright yellow saree, walked off minutes before the marriage was to be solemnised as the age of the groom had been concealed from her.
“My aunt never mentioned his age. When I was brought to the mandap (marriage platform) I was shocked to see the aged groom. I ran away from there and sought help of local people,” Kanchan told IANS.
She said her aunt (father’s sister) had arranged the marriage and assured her of a happy life with a rich man. Kanchan is a resident of Jaitiya village under Gaurichak police station near Patna.
Some local residents said Bhagat had paid Rs.100,000 to Kanchan’s family but this was denied by Bhagat.
“I am living alone for years here. I was feeling very lonely and decided to marry. I wanted to be looked after well in my old age,” Bhagat, a resident of Makhdumpur, said. His wife died about two decades ago and his son and grand-children live in Ranchi, capital of neighbouring Jharkhand.
A relative, requesting anonymity, said: “Kanchan refused to marry and cried for help after she found out that the groom was an old man”.
Bhagat, Kanchan, her mother Pramila Devi and her aunt Maracho Devi were taken into custody by the police. “We will interrogate them and investigate the case,” officer in-charge of Digha police station N.K. Singh said.
During the last one year several such cases have been reported across Bihar where girls refused to marry ‘unsuitable’ grooms.