| The couple outside the court on Thursday after Alminur was granted bail. (Main Uddin Chisti)
Cooch Behar, Oct. 11: Alminur Rehman and Renuka Das married as consenting adults on September 3 and then had to go into hiding for over a month, thanks to the bride’s father and police.
Today, the additional chief judicial magistrate of Cooch Behar, Monojit Mukhopadhyay, granted Alminur bail in a case of abduction lodged against him by Renuka’s father, Rathin Das. The Kotwali police had picked up the couple earlier today.
Rathin, who works as a clerk in the district court, had claimed that his daughter was a minor and that she had been kidnapped by Alminur.
Renuka was at the court today and produced her Madhyamik admit card, which showed her age to be 21. The couple’s marriage certificate — the two married under the Special Marriage Act — was also submitted.
Alminur, 23, works as an agent of a private insurance company.
In a re-run of the Rizwanur Rahman-Priyanka Todi case, the police once again find themselves under the scanner for their role in dealing with a marriage between two consenting adults.
“The case of abduction was based on an age certificate issued by a school in Tapurhat (where the girl’s family stays) in the name of Dola Das, Dola being the pet name of Renuka,” said the couple’s lawyer, Debashis Roy Karmakar. “But even that certificate showed her to be older than 18.”
Yet, once the case against Alminur was lodged, threats from the police forced the couple into hiding since September 15. They had been staying with friends and relatives.
“The police even kept Alminur’s father in the lock-up for three days when they failed to locate the couple,” Roy Karmakar said. Alminur’s father, Khalilur Miyan, has a small bicycle and cycle-rickshaw repair shop in Cooch Behar town.
“The girl’s father works in the court and that is why he could get the police to come to my house and take me to the police station,” Khalilur said.
One of the witnesses to the marriage, Rahima Khatun, and her family were not spared either. Rahima’s father, Karimullah Miyan, said: “My wife, Rahima and I were kept in the police station for two consecutive nights because we refused to reveal where Alminur and Renuka were.”
Alminur sounded relieved after he was granted bail today.
“Renuka and I had even decided to run away to some other state, but when I read about the Rizwanur case both of us felt that we should come out in the open,” he said.
Back at Alminur’s place, Renuka said: “I do not believe in religion, caste and class. I love my husband and want to spend the rest of my life with him.”
No one from the bride’s family was in court today, not even the father who works there.