Patna, Feb 5: At least 3400 hundred grooms were abducted in 2017 across Bihar for ‘Pakdua Vivah’, the state police said. ‘Pakdua Vivah’ is a notorious tradition in the northern part of the state where eligible men are abducted for force marriage. An official release of Bihar police stated that 3,405 youth were kidnapped for forced marriage in the state.Also Read - Maoists Kill 4 of Family, Hang Their Bodies, Blow Up House in Bihar's Gaya District

“Pakadua vivah is rampant in Bihar. About 3,405 men have been kidnapped for forced marriage in the state. In most of the cases, marriages were solemnised at gunpoint or threats to their life and families,” IANS quoted a Bihar cop, as saying. Also Read - Bihar: Bodies of Two Missing Children Found In Begusarai, Family Accuses Police of Inaction; Blocks Road

The officer added that the state police is on alert to keep a check on increasing incidents of abduction ahead of wedding session. The data further stated that about 3,070 youths were kidnapped for ‘pakadua vivah’ in the state in 2016, 3,000 in 2015 and 2,526 in 2014. “In all such cases, either the youths and their parents have been forced at gunpoint,” said police officer. Also Read - Woman, Raped Repeatedly by Father, Kills Her Baby Before Committing Suicide in Bihar's Gaya

Commenting on the phenomenon, local activists suggest the demand for exorbitant dowry is one of the main reasons behind such forced marriages. “Girls’ families have been kidnapping suitable men for forcible marriage. Families often use friends and relatives, and sometimes even hire professional criminals, to carry out abductions for marriages,” said activist Mahender Yadav.

The National Crime Records Bureau data also backed the trend. The latest report, released in 2015, stated that Bihar is at the top in the country when it comes to the abduction of above 18-year-old males.