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regular-article-logo Friday, 21 June 2024

Girl flees husband’s home for exam

In-laws hostile to education, 20-year-old takes cop help to answer HS paper

Alamgir Hossain Behrampore Published 17.03.23, 03:26 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

A higher secondary examinee from a Murshidabad village escaped from a bolted room in her husband’s home, took an e-rickshaw ride to the police station for help and managed to take the test after intervention of the headmaster of the exam centre on Thursday.

The 20-year-old, who had scored 66 per cent in Madhyamik and wanted to answer her HS exams, faced stiff opposition from her 25-year old husband who she was married off to last year.

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Though her husband, a migrant worker, allowed her to continue as a high school student after marriage, he suddenly objected to the idea of his wife taking the higher secondary exam this year.

However, the girl, with her parent’s support, registered herself for the HS exam that began earlier this week.

Her husband became aware that she was an examinee only when she returned home on March 14 after answering the first paper.

On Tuesday, her enraged husband and in-laws allegedly forced her into a room and bolted it from outside so that she would not be able to answer any more papers, said one of the police officers who helped her. They also took away her school bag, admit card and uniform.

However, she was not ready to give up easily.

“On Thursday morning, the girl looked out through one of the windows of the bolted room and called out to some passersby. When people turned up at her home, the girl was let out by her in-laws. Without looking back, she left home and got into an e-rickshaw to ride 5km to our police station to seek help around 7.50am,” said Chakraborty.

When the cops heard her story, they summoned her father to the police station. The father told the police that one of the conditions his family had placed before the groom was that his daughter would continue her studies.

Thursday’s English test was scheduled to begin at 10.30am. A police officer telephoned the headmaster of her exam centre and explained her unusual circumstances.

A police convoy with a lady constable rushed the girl to her home, where there was no one. However, her school bag lay in the courtyard.

“From the bag, she could recover her admit card but not her uniform,” said an officer.

“Nonetheless, the headmaster explained that that would not be a problem as there was a regulation he could invoke, and so we got her to the centre on time where she appeared for her examination as she otherwise would have,” he added.

The headmaster of the exam centre praised the girl’s determination and promised to “assist her in every possible way”.

After her paper on Thursday, she returned with the police and her father to her parents’ home.

The girl’s father works for a contractor and her mother is a bidi worker

“I got her married a year ago, but we had clearly told them she would study. I don’t know why the in-laws changed their minds. She will live with me if they don’t agree to let her continue studying,” the father said.

The girl added: “I want to be qualified and stand on my own feet. If my husband's family has a problem with it,I won’t return to them.”

Police officers lauded the girl’s “presence of mind” and“exceptional courage” amid all the upheavals in her life since Tuesday.

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