In a dramatic turn of events, a woman who had eloped with a man but was dumped by him within a few days, so that he could reunite with his legally wedded wife, got married to a home-guard with the help of police officers and staff in the Halvad town of Morbi district, Gujarat, on Friday.
Ripple Vaniya, a resident of Gitpura in Sanand taluka of Ahmedabad district, tied the knot with Jasmat Solanki, a home-guard attached to the Halvad police station, at a temple in Halvad in the presence of family members of Solanki and local police staff. Halvad police inspector acted as the father of the girl while Jasmat’s parents and other family members witnessed the brief ceremony. The couple then registered their marriage with the registrar at the Halvad municipality. Later in the evening, officers and staff of police hosted a dinner to celebrate the wedding.
The marriage marked a turn in a story which had begun a few months ago and taken a turn for the worse just a few days back. Halvad police said that 24-year-old Ripple had come into contact with one Mahesh Rathod of Hirapur village a few months ago while they both were working at a factory in Sanand. The woman was doing casual work while Rathod was employed as a driver. “There was a void in Rathod’s life as his estranged wife Jagruti had been living at her parents’ home with their six-year-old son. He and Ripple got close to each other and promised to live together,” said a member of staff from police.
Meanwhile, around a month ago, Rathod quit his job and came to Sarambhada village of Halvad taluka to work as agricultural labourer. “On February 21, Rathod contacted Ripple on phone and the woman expressed her desire to elope with him. Consequently, Rathod went to Sanand and picked her up and the couple came to Sarambhada. Rathod’s estranged wife received information about her husband’s extra-marital affair and also came to Sarambhada. Finding Ripple there, Jagruti dialled the women’s helpline Abhayam and sought help to win back her husband,” the police staff member further said.
The Abhayam helpline asked Rathod, his wife and Ripple to come to Halvad police station. However, Ripple and Jagruti fought bitterly at the railway station in Halvad and Ripple declared that she will commit suicide by throwing herself before a moving train after Rathod told her that he would reunite with his legally-wedded wife. However, police prevented her from taking the extreme step and with the help of Abhahyam volunteers, contacted her father. “But Ripple’s father said he had disowned her as he had two other daughters also and if he allowed Ripple, who had eloped with a man against the wish of her family, he would find it difficult to marry off the remaining two daughters,” said Police Inspector Solanki.
Police said that after her father disowned her, Ripple repeated her intension of committing suicide as she had nowhere to go. “We thought that sending her to a women’s protection home was also not a good option as she was talking about taking her own life every now and then. Therefore, our staff counselled and gave her courage. They also proposed that if she was willing, they could arrange her meeting with home-guard Jasmat Solanki who is of her age, unmarried and belongs to the same caste as hers. Following a meeting, Jasmat and Ripple chose each other and agreed to unite in marriage.
“After they completed the ritual of marriage according to Hindu customs and got their it registered, we hosted a dinner in honour of the newly-wed couple,” the police inspector added.
Police said that Ripple had dropped out of school after Class VII. On the other hand, Jasmat, a resident of Dhavana village in Halvad taluka, is 28-year-old and has been serving as homeguard for the last eight years.