If there is one crime the Bihar police have failed to check in the last few years amid the JD(U) government’s claims of improved law and order, it is kidnapping for marriage. The number of such cases has more than doubled over the last five calendar years, from 1,337 in 2009 to 2,935 in 2013. This year, there were 687 cases till March.
Close to half of all kidnapping cases have been for marriage. The police website also provides a breakup for boys and girls in love fleeing together; the boy often ends up in jail because the girl is a minor.
Patna senior SP Manu Maharaj, who has also served as SP in Rohtas, told The Indian Express: “In most cases, a boy runs away with a minor girl who may be willing to marry him, but who finally goes with the will of her parents..”
Former Araria SP Shivdeep W Lande, now the governor’s aide de camp, said sometimes kidnapping cases are lodged against boys because of old family rivalries. In some cases, girls’ families too have kidnapped prospective grooms, he said. “I recall a bodyguard of mine was kidnapped when I was posted in Jamalpur. When the kidnappers realised he was a policeman, they let him go.”