Men posing as Muslims marrying poor Bengal girls

Residents of Hausa and Sonadanga villages in Bardhaman district of West Bengal have alleged that Hindu men have been marrying girls from their villages by posing as Muslims from Uttar Pradesh. Both villages have a predominant Muslim population.

The incident came to light at the end of June when a young girl from Sonadanga protested and reported the matter to the village seniors. On her wedding night, she found that her husband and his friends, who had introduced themselves as Muslims, were Hindus.

“Four men, one of whom has already married a girl from a neighbouring village, stayed at her relative’s house in search of a suitable bride. They said they were Muslims from Agra. When they found a girl from a very poor family, they arranged for the wedding in a week,” social worker Md. Zim Nawaz, who led a fact finding team to Sonadanga, said.

The village seniors immediately convened a makeshift village court and ordered the four men to compensate the girl’s family. While two of them were allowed to go to Agra to arrange for the money by July 1, the other two were detained by the villagers, Mr. Nawaz said. While the villagers have not yet received any money, the police have taken away the two men, he added.

“The villagers went to Memari police station on July 1 to lodge a complaint but the police turned them away, saying they should have inquired about the groom’s background before agreeing to the wedding. There have been almost seven such instances in the past two to three years. Only two girls have come back to visit their families,” Mr. Nawaz said.

The police, however, presented a contrasting version. “We received a complaint on July 1 and arrested the main accused on the same day. The accused hails from Agra. He was produced in court on July 2 and has been remanded to judicial custody. There was no Hindu-Muslim angle in the complaint. We were told that the boy took advantage of the girl’s poor financial status,” a police officer of Memari police station said, refusing to divulge further details.

‘They said they were Muslims from Agra. When they found a girl from a poor family, they arranged for the wedding in a week’

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 6:03:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/men-posing-as-muslims-marrying-poor-bengal-girls/article7390102.ece

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