Inter-caste marriage leaves girl in a lurch

Siraha, October 19

A Dalit girl in Siraha who got married with an ‘upper caste’ boy a couple of month ago has been left in the lurch.

Twenty-two-year-old Sunita Ram of Maheshbari in Sakhuwanankarkatti-5 of Siraha had tied the knot with her lover Barun Mandal, aka Akash, of Bangthiya in Kalyanpur Municipality-10, about two months ago.

She has been left in the lurch after her husband’s family barred her from entering Mandal’s home, citing her ‘lower’ caste status.

After getting married secretly, they had fled to Kathmandu before returning to the groom’s home a few days later upon the family’s assurance that they would accept the couple. “Just the second day after we returned home, my husband’s family and kin took us to Betauna in Gol Bazaar-10, at his aunt’s, saying they would keep us in a rented apartment there. After two days, they sent him elsewhere and beat me up mercilessly before kicking me out of house,” lamented the newly-wed girl.

“From Betauna, I returned to his home but as they didn’t let me in, I had to live in the cowshed for long until a few days ago when they seized my clothes and chased me away from the shed too,” said Ram, who has been living in pathetic condition in the open ever since.“I have been living on the roadside after I was expelled from the cowshed, and it’s been very difficult,” she said.

According to Ram’s father Jharilal Ram, he had reported to the police about the injustice meted out to his daughter, but to no avail. “I reported to the police about the ill treatment of my daughter, but the police have refused to do anything citing that the groom was ‘underage’,” he said. Though Ram has claimed that her husband is 20, his family has been insisting that he is 16 years old.