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Deathly knot of childhood marriage

Shantipur (Nadia), Sept. 18: Kamal Saho was married to Chadlina when he was 14 because their families wanted it.

The couple never after lived happily. Nine years after his “marriage”, Kamal, a tailor, found his love. He married Chhalbano Bibi last year.

Last night, Kamal, 24, and Chhalbano, 25, committed suicide at Sutragar village, about 80 km from Calcutta, apparently frustrated at the pressure created by Chadlina and family members.

Officer-in-charge of Shantipur police station Suman Chatterjee said Kamal and Chhalbano were taken to the district hospital at Shaktinagar in Krishnagar, where they died. They do not suspect any foul play, the police said.

The bodies have been sent for post-mortem.

“It appears that the couple committed suicide as they feared they will not be able to lead a happy life because Kamal’s first wife was creating problems and Chhalbano’s family wanted to take her back,” said Chatterjee.

Kamal’s father Ansar Ali Saho and Chadlina’s father Sabirul Islam are cousins. Ali had a tailoring shop at Sutragar and Sabirul was a cloth merchant in Dhubulia. The cousins decided to marry Kamal and Chadlina to strengthen family ties.

“They had two children but there was hardly any peaceful relationship between them. My father and Chadlina’s father married them to bring the families closer. But Kamal and Chadlina always quarrelled,” said Jamal, his brother.

Kamal met Chhalbano, his jijaji (sister’s husband) Sabir Ali’s sister, a year ago and they fell in love.

They kept their nikaah at Lalgola in Murshidabad this February a secret from the families.

“We did not know that Kamal was in love with my sister. Just about five months after my marriage with his sister, Kamal went to our home in Lalgola and married her without informing anybody,” said Sabir.

“Neither my father nor Kamal’s accepted the marriage. But he did not care. The situation turned ugly when Kamal took Chhalbano to his home in May,” added Sabir.

Chadlina could not accept the new relationship. She had even threatened to leave the house.

Sabir said: “My father wanted Chhalbano to return home. She did not, nor did Kamal. Yesterday, my father sent brother Rentu to bring her home. She had agreed but was weeping the whole day. In the evening, she went out of the house with Kamal and returned a while later, frothing at the mouth. They collapsed in the courtyard.”

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