The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Marriage hounds in khaki, again

Calcutta, Oct. 1: Police refused to learn from the Rizwanur Rahman tragedy and harassed another middle-class youth and his family through the day because he had married a girl against her rich father’s wishes.

Bidhannagar South police arrested Manoj Jaiswal, 27, and three relatives after Chandra Prakash Tulsyan of Salt Lake accused the Howrah youth of kidnapping his “minor” daughter.

Dolly Tulsyan showed the police — and The Telegraph — a photocopy of her school-leaving certificate that gives her age as 20.

“I am an adult. I left my home to marry Manoj of my own will on September 26. My father was against the marriage, so he is using the police to harass us,” she said.

But as they picked up Manoj in the evening, officers took Dolly along too, claiming to have “rescued” her.

The police had earlier raided the Howrah home, 374 GT Road, around 2am and, failing to find the couple, arrested Manoj’s uncle Lakshmi Prasad and young cousins Rakesh and Ganesh. The team then continued its search, allegedly ransacking the homes of two other Jaiswal kin.

Manoj said he and Dolly had gone into hiding immediately after their wedding at Kalighat temple because “we expected something like this to happen”.

After learning of the early morning arrests, the couple walked into Howrah’s Golabari police station this afternoon with lawyer Subhendu Saha and a few relatives to complain of police harassment.

Dolly was armed with a photo album that had pictures of her wedding and a copy of the age certificate that says she was born on August 25, 1987.

Saha said when the police arrested Manoj, the lawyer asked them how they could do that after having seen Dolly’s age certificate.

An officer replied they were merely shown a photocopy. “I protested because I knew the file she carried had both the original and a photocopy,” the lawyer said.

“I asked whether the father had shown the police any age certificate to prove Dolly was a minor. He said ‘we don’t need proof from a father’.”

Around midnight, one of Saha’s juniors reached Bidhannagar South police station with the original certificate. Around 1am on Tuesday, after an ordeal lasting hours, Manoj and his relatives were freed on personal bonds.

Once a magistrate approves the release, the cases will be dropped. But the couple vowed tonight to pursue the harassment case against the police.

The controversy comes 10 days after the mysterious death of Rizwanur. He left behind allegations that Lalbazar colluded with his rich father-in-law to try and break up his marriage to Priyanka Todi.

Manoj said Chandra Prakash, who runs a thriving pipe-fittings business, was against the marriage because of the difference in the two families’ status. Manoj is a small-time supplier of construction material.

“Dolly and I used to be neighbours in Howrah and have known each other since childhood. But her father sent her away to Laxmangarh in Rajasthan in 2004,” he said.

They stayed in touch. Dolly did her Plus II there but dropped out in BCom first year to return to Calcutta last April. In July, the Tulsyans shifted to their current address, GC 105, in Salt Lake.

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