The Telegraph
Friday , May 23 , 2014
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Land-grab fear ties boy in knots

A land in his name has cost a 10-year-old boy dear with alleged land grabbers exerting pressure on him to get married.

On Thursday, Santosh Kumar (name changed) from Baribigha village in Patna rural visited the senior superintendent of police’s janata durbar with his 76-year-old father.

The boy studies in Class VI at the government middle school in his village under Kadirganj police station. He is jolted every time the word marriage is mentioned.

Ram Lakhan Prasad, a farmer, told The Telegraph: “There is one Paras Prasad, a very strong man, who is forcing my son to get married to his daughter. So far as I know, she is 14 years old. This has been going on for almost 10 months now and every day we are threatened with violence. I don’t know how to save my son. I am forced to hide him on and off during wedding seasons. If no action is initiated, they (Paras) will forcibly marry him off. My complaints to the local police station have proved futile. So, I have come to the SSP office seeking help.”

SSP Manu Maharaaj was not present, so they had to petition before deputy superintendent of police (headquarters-I) Bijender Kumar Das.

Prasad told the officer: “The problem stems from my 12-bigha land, registered in the Santosh’s name. In a bid to usurp the land, Paras and his family, from Pandey Bigha village around 2km from our home, is forcing me to marry off my son to his daughter. If he succeeds, his family will get all my land. Some of my distant relatives are also helping them. They have threatened to kidnap my son. How can a 10-year-old get married? He doesn’t know anything about marriage.”

A studious boy, Santosh has even stopped going to school. Weeping, he said: “I am always living in fear. Bolte rahte hai shaadi kar lo, shaadi kar lo (They always tell me to get married). Maybe I will run away from here some day.”

DSP Das said: “This is serious and the police have to act fast. The local police station officers have been asked to take immediate action after investigations. There is a chance that the boy might be kidnapped or even fatally harmed.”

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