A 15-year-old girl studying in Symbiosis College in Pune has approached cops against her own parents, with a complaint that she is being forcing her to marry. Following the brave step taken by the teenager, the Pune city police has warned the parents, who had reportedly taken money from the groom’s side, against proceeding with the marriage scheduled for April this year. They have also cautioned the bridegroom that he could face arrest if he goes ahead with the wedding.
The girl is in the 11th standard (commerce stream). Her father is an auto rickshaw driver and mother is a housewife. She has been raised by her father’s uncle since she was one-and-half-months old as he didn’t have any child. They stay in the same building.
The girl mustered courage to lodge a police complaint after her mother publicly thrashed her near the college around Tuesday noon. She came straight to the Pune city police's woman grievance redressal cell located on the premises of the police commissioner’s office. The girl alleged that when she refused to marry, her parents approached a priest and a godman to force her into marriage. The teen’s friend also alerted her grandfather.
Inspector Pratibha Joshi, in-charge of the cell, said, “We summoned her parents and counseled them and the youth against child marriage. In the meantime, we verified the facts of the marriage hall that was booked. The parents have also been warned against putting hindrances in her studies. We are providing all support to the girl against any harassment. To emotionally blackmail the girl, her mother began crying after coming out of the office where the girl was standing. We then asked the parents to go away."
The girl’s mother was heard saying the daughter has caused a big ‘loss’ and will have to bear the conscious. According to cops, "The girl claimed that during her academic session of tenth standard in August, her mother had fixed her marriage with her relative, a 25-year-old youth, who is a labour supplier. The engagement was held against her wishes after couple of month last year. Her mother, who herself was married off when she was about 16, didn’t pay heed to her requests. On the contrary, her mother compelled her daughter to talk to the groom on the phone. He used to complain whenever she didn’t talk ‘properly’ with him, following which the girl would be taken to task by her mother. The groom’s family has even booked a hall in Wagholi by paying Rs one lakh fee."
The complaint further stated, “I want to complete my education, but my parents were forcing me to marry. I do not want to get married. I am below the marriageable age, but whenever I oppose or request my family members not to force me into marriage, they beat me and threaten to kill me. Except giving birth, my parents have not done anything and now they are forcing me into marriage. If the police and the administration do not help, my life would be ruined.”
She added, “I want to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, but my mother often forced me to talk to that guy on the phone. He would come to my house in his car and I was forced to go on drives with him. I used to take along my younger brother and cousin sister as I was afraid of going alone with him. His lure talks were objectionable. I explained to him that I want to study, but he never encouraged me.”
Speaking to mid-day, the girl’s grandfather (66), who is also an auto rickshaw driver, said, "I opposed the marriage, but I was helpless before her parents. Her father suspected that I was instigating her against the marriage. So he stopped me from dropping her to the college. Instead, he used to ferry her to keep a watch on her. He had also instructed other auto rickshaw driver at the college gate to keep an eye on her.”