Married at 1 am, separated at 1 pm

In a strange but true incident, a boy and a girl were forced to marry in the wee hours after they were caught in an objectionable situation.

But the same panchayat, which served as a quasi-judicial body and got them forcefully wedded, ordered the separation of the newly-married couple within 12 hours of their marital vows.

The incident took place at a nondescript Milliktola village under Baisi police station of Purnia district in Bihar, some 400 km from here.

Nineteen-year-old Kalpana (name changed to protect her identity) was head over heels in love with Md Hasnoor, a resident of neighbouring village Bakhariya in the same district. But different religions, reluctant parents and a hostile panchayat prevented the duo from making their affair public, thereby deferring the plan to marry.

So one fine evening, when Kalpana’s mother went out to attend a social event at a neighbouring village, she asked one of her female family friends to give company to her daughter if she did not return that night.

Kalpana, somehow, convinced the acquaintance to allow her to stay alone in the night. So far so good. But the young girl late in the night made a phone call through her mobile to her boyfriend and asked him to come over to stay with her till her mother returned.

As Hasnoor rushed there to be with his lady-love in a God-sent opportunity, the villagers got an inkling of what was “cooking” inside.

They caught the couple red-handed in a compromising position. Kalpana and her boyfriend were dragged out of house, tied with ropes and beaten up with iron rods.

The panchayat meeting was convened immediately which suggested that Hasnoor should wed Kalpana then and there. The boy was asked to shell out gold coins as “meher”.

Later in the day, when the groom’s father came to know about the incident he was furious. “How could someone marry my son without my permission,” he shouted.
Another panchayat meeting was convened within 12 hours of the wedding. This time the panchayat said that in view of Hasnoor’s father’s refusal to give permission for the marriage, the couple should be separated.

Rs 75k as compensation

Hasnoor was asked to cough up Rs 75,000 to his estranged wife as muwawja (compensation).

Flabbergasted over the panchayat diktat, Kalpana eventually lodged a case in this connection at Baisi police station a couple of days back, and has demanded justice.

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