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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Even in death,families shun two teens who eloped to marry the men they loved

The district administration has ordered a probe to ascertain the cause behind their deaths

Written by Ruhi Bhasin | Karnal | Published: June 29, 2013 3:26:17 am

Shunned by their families for eloping and marrying the men they loved,two girls,both 17,and from different districts in Haryana,ended up at the Nari Niketan in Karnal. Last Tuesday,they allegedly committed suicide after a failed attempt to run away from the home for women — both were found hanging in a bathroom. But in death too,their parents refused to accept them. The last rites have been carried out by a local NGO.

While one girl belonged to Mahendragarh,the other was from Kaithal district. They reached the Nari Niketan a day apart — one last Saturday and the other on Sunday. Officials claimed that within a few hours of meeting each other on Sunday,the girls decided to run away to Kaithal and fled the same night after scaling the walls of the complex. But they were caught and returned.

While the parents of the girl from Mahendragarh came to identify her,they refused to carry out her last rites.

Karnal Deputy Commissioner Renu Phulia said: “We offered to help them take her body home but they refused. A local NGO carried out the last rites on Wednesday. After waiting three days for the family of the other girl,the NGO carried out the last rites on Friday. Her family refused to come.”

The district administration has ordered a probe to ascertain the cause behind their deaths. The inquiry will be conducted by a sub-divisional magistrate.

Officials at the Nari Niketan claimed that “both girls seemed perfectly normal before their death”. This was corroborated by counsellors who spoke to them after they were brought from Kaithal.

“They had tea in the evening and were present for the roll call. But when the attendant was handing over charge to the next in the shift,the two girls were missing. A search was carried out and the girls were found hanging in the bathroom,dangling from overhead water pipes,’’ Phulia said.

Police said parents of both girls had filed cases under Section 366 of the Indian Penal Code — of kidnapping,abducting or inducing a woman to compel her marriage.

Karnal SP Shashank Anand said: “Both girls were sent to the Nari Niketan as per orders of local magistrates. They did not wish to go back to their parents as they felt that their safety was threatened there. They were from different districts,brought together by similar circumstances of eloping,marrying while being underage.”

According to Phulia,the Nari Niketan is home to girls from across Haryana and most cases relate to underage marriage. “Most of them are brought here after complaints made by parents,’’ she said.

The father of the girl from Kaithal said she went missing on June 18. He alleged she was raped. “We filed a case with the local police but nothing was done. My girl was raped and was forced to make a false statement about a love marriage. Until the rapists are caught,we will not carry out her last rites,’’ he said.

Anand said the police have asked doctors to examine the rape aspect as well.

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