Inmates of Daudnagar sub-divisional jail on Monday were witness to a happy end to an old dispute that had become the talk of the Aurangabad town, around 120km southwest of Patna.
Aurangabad resident and Bihar police constable Sanjay Ram, remanded in judicial custody for sexually assaulting a 20-year-old resident of Manar village, got married to the girl in the jail, albeit under court orders and strict scrutiny of the security personnel. The undertrials were treated as guests, while the jail officials brought the girl to the jail and hosted the first-of-its-kind wedding in the state.
Twenty-two-year-old Ram, posted in Purnea district, along with his parents, was arrested on February 16 and produced before the sub-divisional court. The complainant — now Ram’s wife — had lodged a case with Daudnagar police (No. 34/2013) on February 4 accusing Ram of sexually assaulting her with the promise of marriage for almost three years till August 2012. The girl said in her complaint: “When my parents exerted pressure on him for marriage, Ram and his parents demanded Rs 3 lakh in cash and a two-wheeler as dowry.” When the issue could not be solved through social pressure, the complaint was lodged.
Ram was arrested under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code and his parents under Section 3/4 of Dowry Act. Before the sub-divisional court headed by P.C. Anand, Ram admitted to his offence on Saturday. He sought relief for his family and himself with the promise of marrying the complainant. The court issued the order asking prison officials to facilitate the couple’s wedding on February 25 (Monday). Expenses for solemnising the wedding and buying gifts for the couple were borne by the jail authorities.
Superintendent of Daudnagar sub-divisional jail Satyendra Kumar said the marriage was solemnised according to Hindu rituals and even a priest and a barber were called. He added that the ceremony started at 12.45pm and concluded around 2.30pm in one of the rooms in the jail meant for visitors. The superintendent was the first to bless the couple followed by their relatives and undertrials. “I have not seen such a wedding in any prison of Bihar so far,” Kumar said.
The wedding also had the blessings of the groom’s parents.
Mithilesh Yadav, the counsel for the accused, said he would move the court for bail of his three clients now that the case has reached a happy conclusion.