3,400 Bihari bachelors kidnapped in 2017 for forced marriage
Those unfamiliar with Pakadua Vivah might find it shocking, but it isn't uncommon in Bihar to kidnap a man and force him to get married at gunpoint.
Surprisingly, the notorious old custom, also known as Jabaria Shaadi, has gained greater footing in the last few years.
According to IANS, 3,405 youths were kidnapped across the state for forced marriage in 2017.
Pakadua Vivah: When men get married at gunpoint
What is Pakadua Vivah?
Because of high dowry demand in Bihari weddings, the girl's relatives often kidnap a bachelor they think suitable and force him to get married, usually at gun point or by threatening to kill his family members.
Since Biharis hold marriages in high regard, they make such relationships work despite them being forced.
Sometimes even professional criminals are hired to abduct grooms.
Nine Pakadua Vivahs each day in Bihar in 2017
According to police records, on an average nine forced marriages were solemnized each day in Bihar last year.
If official data is anything to go by, the trend is only increasing. From 2,526 groom kidnappings in 2014, the numbers have risen sharply each year to 3,000 in 2015, 3,070 in 2016 and now 3,405 last year.
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Engineer married without consent, refused to keep wife
Last month, a video of a 29-year-old engineer being forcefully married to a woman went viral on social media.
Vinod, while he was attending a friend's marriage in Islampur, was abducted and beaten into getting married.
In arguably a first, he refused to keep his wife, making national headlines. His brother filed a police complaint against her family members.
1,096 Bihari men aged between 18-30 were kidnapped in 2015
In India, the maximum number of men older than 18 years are kidnapped in Bihar, claims the National Crime Records Bureau report for 2015.
According to it, 1,096 males aged between 18-30 were abducted that year, 17% of the total such kidnappings.
Alarmed by the worrying situation, district police superintendents are on alert to check for such incidents in the upcoming wedding season.