Sambalpur, May 29: Local police today arrested seven persons for allegedly kidnapping two minor girls and solemnising their marriages with two persons.
The accused have been identified as Narendra Awasthi, Karamlal Dubey, Kaliprashad Dubey, Kalori Dubey, Bablu Prashad Dubey, Brajamohan Mishra and Champa Paradha.
According to the police, Narendra Awasthi and Karamlal Dubey, both from Madhya Pradesh, are the persons who married the two minor girls. Kaliprashad Dubey, Kalori Dubey, Bablu Prashad Dubey and Braja Mohan Mishra had accompanied the grooms. Champa Pradhan is the person who arranged the wedding.
The police said the accused persons are from Madhya Pradesh. They had come to Kisinda to marry the two daughters of Sukanti Dehury. Narendra Awasthi and Karamlal Dubey married the two daughters of Sukanti who were allegedly minors. However, the police said that they had kidnapped the two minor girls on the pretext of marriage. Though the police said the two girls were minors, their mother said while one of her daughters was above 18 years of age, the other one was 17.
Dilip Kumar Deo, sub-divisional police officer of Sambalpur, said: “We were informed by a reliable source that the people were going back to Madhya Pradesh. We arrested them with the help of railway police. These people were taking advantage of the poverty of the girl’s family. The accused must have allured the girl’s poor family with money and other form of inducements.”
However, Sukanti Dehury, mother of the minor girls, said: “The husband of my niece has arranged the marriage. I had been to Madhya Pradesh to know about the families of the grooms. And after getting all the information about the grooms’ families, I agreed for the wedding.”
“I myself had inter-caste marriage. Hence, it was difficult for me to arrange grooms for my daughter in my own place. I had requested my niece’s husband to find out grooms for my two daughters. Another problem of my family is that my elder daughter had once eloped with a boy of another caste. Therefore, I was ostracised by the villagers. Due to my own compulsions and family factors, I agreed to give away my daughters to these people. One of my daughters is above 18 and the other one is a little less than 18,” she said.
She also categorically asserted that she had not done this for any monetary transaction.However, one of the grooms said: “We had come here for wedding. We are ignorant about the age of the girls. A priest of our district had informed us about the family.”
“The accused persons have been arrested and will be forwarded to the court,” added the police officer.