The craze for a male child has skewed the sex ratio to such an extent that the growing army of bachelors in Haryana are facing a tough time getting brides. As if it weren’t bad enough for them, the men are now being victimized by organized gangs — who provide ‘wives’ — and are robbing the men and their families.
The matter came to light with the arrest of two 40-year-old women from Ludhiana identified as Preeti and Jyoti. The duo, apparently, are members of one such gang that provides women for ‘marriages’, after which they rob the family and disappear.
The Hissar police arrested the pair from a local bus stand, following a complaint by Ram Singh, a resident of Baragurha village, who told the police that a Ludhiana-based woman had duped him by taking money for arranging the marriage of one of his relatives. Singh claimed the ‘bride’ ran away with ornaments and other valuables.
“The women have admitted to having duped families at Jhajjar and Uklana in a similar fashion,” said Surjeet Singh, PRO of the SP, Sirsa. “The two had been carrying on this activity for quite some time. Young girls, sold as brides, are also members of the gang.”
The women were produced before the chief judicial magistrate, Sirsa on Saturday, who remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days.
The modus operandi — look for a potential bridegroom well past his marriageable age, strike a deal for a ‘wife’ for amounts ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000, depending on the attributes of the ‘bride to be’, arrange the ‘marriage’ with fake parents and then wait for the ‘bride’ to return with cash and kind. Nearly a dozen such cases were reported in Sirsa-Fatehabad area last year.
In most cases, the ‘parents’ were also gang members and helped the ‘bride’ escape by taking her out of the nuptial house on the pretext of visiting her maternal home.
Jagmati Sangwan, president of the Haryana unit of the All-India Democratic Women Association, said the social implication of the gender imbalance, which was not visible earlier, has manifested itself in the past eight to 10 years.