An Indian gay couple scared of ending up behind bars fled their village as their marriage was found to have been solemnised 'by mistake'.
Simran and Chunmun Kumar, both in their 20s, registered their marriage in late March in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. But officials maintain they had submitted two false affidavits, describing one as a man and the other as woman, reported The Indian Express.
‘Why would we get our marriage registered if we wanted to keep our relation secret?’ Chunmun asked. 'I had told the lawyers that we were both men.'
Chunmun, a resident of Ballia, has been working with Simran, a dancer, for more than eight years in various marriage parties in eastern Uttar Pradesh. With blessings from Chunmun’s parents after initial opposition, the two of them has also lived together for seven years.
They returned to their village after the marriage only to learn from neighbors that they would have to go to jail for giving false information. The newly-wed decided to leave on Monday (9 Apr).
S.C. Mishra, sub-registrar of Ballia, said Simran had come to his office looking like a woman, wearing a bright red sari and with ‘sindoor’ that is usually worn by married women.
Apart from the affidavits, the couple was also said to have presented a fake letter stating they were living like a couple. Their village pradhan, whose name is Vidyavati Devi instead of Rama Devis as shown, denied having issued it.
Under the Hindu Marriages Act, the marriage could not be been held legal as the two came from the same sex. The Indian Supreme Court is debating whether an overturned law that made gay relationships punishable by a 10-year jail term should be reinstated.
Mishra said he will not lodge a complaint as he had no proof of their gender.