In a horrifying incident, a 15-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh was beaten up by family members after she ran away from her home a day before her marriage and returned only after it was called off.
Geeta (name changed), wanted to continue her education against her family’s wishes, who wanted her to get married. She was taken out of school when she was in class 7 and her marriage was fixed for June 12 by her father, a farmer in Biwar village of Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
“I began protesting from the day they fixed my marriage. I kept doing so till June 10. No one in the family listened to me. I was threatened and mentally tortured for questioning the decision,” Geeta told the police.
She ran away a day before the wedding after failing to convince her family members. From her hiding, she forced her parents to tell the groom’s family in Mahoba that she was not ready for marriage. The groom’s family decided to call off the marriage and she returned home after three days.
She faced abuses and assaults from her parents and relatives, who tried to force her to get married. When she did not agree, they beat her up and threw her out of the house on June 14.
Geeta approached the police and lodged a complaint, seeking protection.
“She has told us that her family members are still hell-bent on marrying her off to the boy from Karhariya in Khanna of Mahoba district. She says she isn’t ready for the marriage,” said Sunil Kumar Shukla, Biwar station officer.
The officer also added that she had threatened to commit suicide if her family continues to pressurise her.
While Geeta is staying at the police station, her family is not yet ready to take her back to the house.
The police have warned the family against forcing Geeta to get married, as they would be jailed under provisions of child marriage act.
“We have met the parents and told them they must take her with them and not exert any sort of pressure. Hopefully, they will take her soon,” Shukla said.