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Engineering student marries friend who was gang-raped in Bihar

Engineering student marries friend who was gang-raped in Bihar
Patna A friend of a woman who was allegedly gang-raped by three men in Bihar has married the victim, police said on Saturday.

Four days after the 22-year-old woman was gang-raped and her friend beaten up by three men in the state's Banka district, the victim's friend married her at a temple late on Friday.

"The wedding was solemnised in a simple way at the temple in the presence of dozens of people, including police officials," Hiralal Mandal, a social activist said, adding that the wedding found the support of relatives and villagers.

The bridegroom, who is a student of engineering, told police officials that he decided to go ahead with the marriage.

"I accept her as my life partner. I know she was gang-raped a few days ago. The incident occurred in my presence," a district police official quoted him as saying.

The father of the victim was present at the ceremony and gave his daughter away in the traditional ceremony, called kanyadaan, police officials said.

"Before their marriage in the temple, they married in the court on the basis of an affidavit," a police official said.

Early this week, when the woman and her friend were on a trip to Banka's Mandar Parvat, they asked a group of shepherds for directions. They were allegedly taken to a secluded spot, held hostage for three hours, and three men allegedly raped the woman.

"The two were held hostage, and three men took turns to rape the woman. The assailants also looted cash from the duo before leaving," Dhirendra Kumar, a district police official, said.

The victims later reached the Barahat police station and registered a first information report, police said.

Mandar Parvat is a small hill frequented by pilgrims, who believe that this is the mountain referred to in Hindu mythology as Mandarachal Parvat, the mountain used by the gods to churn the ocean in the "samudra manthan" to obtain the elixir that would grant immortality.

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