Odisha wedding drama: Bride on the run and groom's run-in with law

After his would-be bride eloped with her boyfriend with the marriage procession only 50 metre away from her house, a 26-year-old youth was in for a bigger surprise.

Published: 18th February 2021 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2021 06:35 PM   |  A+A-

Child Marriage

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

BHAWANIPATNA: What Kalahandi's remote Malguda hamlet saw on Tuesday night was a plot fit for a Bollywood potboiler. It was a wedding with too many twists in the tale - a bride on the run; a humiliated groom in for a surprise and entry of police at the end.

After his would-be bride eloped with her boyfriend with the marriage procession only 50 metre away from her house, a 26-year-old youth did not return disheartened from the hamlet under Jaipatna block’s Badkarlakot village. He was in for a bigger surprise when the bride's family offered her minor younger sister for marriage. 

The groom had the consolation of a symbolic marriage with the 15-year-old girl but his cheer was short-lived as the district administration reached his house in Tentulikhunti village under Kalampur block and took away the bride. 

The drama unfolded after the groom Ramesh (name changed) reached Badkarlakot in a procession to marry Sarita (name changed). When he was metres away from the bride’s house, Sarita eloped with another man wearing all the gold ornaments bought for the marriage. 

On hearing the news of the missing bride, panic broke out among members of both the bride and groom’s families. Fearing social stigma, the bride’s father offered to marry off his younger daughter to the groom. 

Later, a symbolic marriage was conducted with Ramesh applying ‘rice tikka’ on the girl’s forehead. In the night, the groom returned home with the girl.

On being informed that the girl was a student of Class X in Badkarlakot high school and set to appear for her board examinations this year, Jaipatna Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) Sukanti Behera and police reached her house at Malguda late in the night.

However, she had already left with the groom. The CDPO along with the police team reached Ramesh’s house at Tentulikhunti at around 4 am and rescued the girl. The groom’s family members were counselled and told that the girl was a minor and is not of marriageable age. 

They agreed and handed over the girl to her brother who was accompanying the team. The girl is now staying in her own house with her parents and will appear in the Class X examinations later this year. Both the families also agreed not to solemnise the girl’s wedding before she attains the marriageable age. 

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