Indian Engineer Kidnapped, Forced To Marry At Gunpoint

The practice is common in the region as many girls' families cannot afford the dowry. As a result, thousands of men are kidnapped and forced to marry this way.

Vinod Kumar, a 29-year-old engineer, was allegedly forced to marry a woman in the Indian state of Bihar while kidnappers pointed a gun at him.

The practice, known as Pakadua Vivah, or forced marriage, is common in the region because many families are unable to afford a dowry.

In a video depicting part of the ordeal, the man is seen being forced to perform wedding rituals as he cries and begs to be let go.

The engineer told local news reporters that he had been kidnapped and held at gunpoint as the woman's family forced him to marry her.

The incident happened after Kumar met with one of the bride’s relatives at a different wedding. Kumar’s brother, Sanjay Kumar, called the police after not hearing from his brother and is now alleging that law enforcement refused to help.

“My brother boarded Hatia-Patna express from Bokaro as he had to attend a wedding function near Patna on Dec. 3. Surendra Yadav, the woman's brother, persuaded him to come to Mokama. He was abducted there and taken to Pandarak where my brother was forced to marry the woman,” he said.

The police station the victim’s brother contacted said the allegations aren’t true. They said that since the abduction happened at Mokama, they asked the engineer’s family to contact police in that region instead, which the brother then did.

The Pandarak police eventually freed Kumar from the village where he was being kept. But ever since the incident, his family has been getting threats as the wedding was finalized and the man is being told to accept the girl.

His family is now under the protection of the police as investigators look into the matter.

"We are looking into it and will take action against the culprits. We are also probing the role of the local police," Patna city Senior Superintendent Amarkesh told reporters.

Every year, local police received nearly 3,000 complaints regarding kidnapping and forced marriages in 2016 in the Bihar region.

On Twitter, people familiar with the region and the practice said that the fact that so many families are unable to afford the dowry is to blame for the practice.

Others explained that forced marriages have been happening for a long time, and they are often the reason why many young men refuse to go back home for the holidays.

It’s incredibly heartbreaking that it’s 2018, and yet, so many families are required to pay a dowry so that their daughters are able to get married.

While tradition is still strong in many countries, this practice is far too extreme. Thankfully, Kumar was rescued, but imagine how many other abducted men weren't so lucky.  

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters

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