In a bizarre turn of events, family members of a 20-year-old girl in Odisha’s Kendrapara district publicly declared their living daughter dead and performed her post-death rituals on Thursday to protest her marriage against their wishes.
Dipanjali Mallick (20), the daughter of Muna Mallick of Demal village under Aul police station, married her boyfriend Rajendra Mallick (23) in a temple on August 28.
Infuriated over their daughter defying their decision, the parents took to the extreme step by severing ties with her and pronouncing her ‘dead’.
“Our daughter had eloped with Rajendra. We lodged an FIR against him in Aul police station. Police handed over our daughter after tracing her. But Dipanjali rebelled and married Rajendra in the village temple. It deeply hurt us and tarnished our dignity. We performed obsequies. For all practical purposes, she is dead for us,” said Muna Mallick, the girl’s father.
“She had brought shame upon the entire family. We performed ‘pind daan’ and organised ‘Dasaha Bhoji ’ (feast held after a person’s demise) to publicly declare that our daughter was dead for us. We had a dream to arrange her marriage with a suitable youth. But she paid scant attention and got married without our consent,” Mallick said.
“I have attained marriageable age. I made the right decision,” said Dipanjali.
However, the groom’s parents are quite glad on the arrival of the daughter-in-law.
“My son has not done any wrong. We gladly accepted Dipanjali as our daughter-in-law,” said Anant Mallick, father of Rajendra.
“Both the bride and groom are adults. There is nothing wrong in a girl eloping to get married according to her choice after she has attained the age of 18 years. The family members of the girl have no right to perform her last rites. They humiliated and violated her human rights by performing her obsequies,” said Amarbara Biswal, a human rights activist of Kendrapara.
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