Gautam Kumar had recently cleared the Bihar Public Service Commission exam to become a teacher. On Wednesday, three to four people arrived at his school and forcibly took him away. Within 24 hours, he was forced to marry the daughter of one of the kidnappers at gunpoint.
Mr Kumar’s whirlwind journey from being a bachelor to entering an unplanned wedlock is the latest addition to Bihar’s history of ‘Pakadwa Vivah’ or groom kidnapping, a phenomenon wherein unmarried men are forced to marry with a gun pointed at their heads.
According to the police, the kidnapping took place in Bihar’s Vaishali district where Mr Kumar is a newly appointed teacher at Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya in Patepur’s Repura. Following the incident, Mr Kumar’s family protested by blocking a road on Wednesday night before the police initiated a search operation to locate the missing teacher.
Mr Kumar’s family pinned the blame on a man named Rajesh Rai. They have accused mr Rai’s family of forcibly taking Mr Kumar away and marrying him to Mr Rai’s daughter Chandni.
Mr Kumar, who refused to accept the marriage proposal, was also subjected to physical violence. Mr Kumar underscored a recent Patna High Court judgment that annulled a ten-year-old forced marriage between a Nawada Armyman and a Lakhisarai woman, police said.
According to the police, an FIR has been registered in connection with the case and an investigation has been launched to take further action against the kidnappers.
‘Pakadwa Vivah’ is not uncommon in Bihar. Last year, a veterinarian, called in to check on a sick animal, was kidnapped by three people and forcibly married in Begusarai. A few years ago, a similar incident involving an engineer in Bihar made national headlines. Then 29-year-old Vinod Kumar, a junior manager at Bokaro Steel Plant was thrashed and forced to wed a woman in Pandarak area in Patna.