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Girls Kidnapped for Forced Marriage Suffer Rising Crime in India

Rupsona’s kidnappers struck at dusk, when most children in her village in eastern India were outside playing and their parents were resting after tending crops all day. The 14-year-old student had just finished geography class and was walking home along a road lined with rice paddies when she felt a blade at her throat.

The man holding the eight-inch knife and his two accomplices were clear: If Rupsona didn’t quietly climb into a nearby car, they would slit her throat. When the door closed, she was beaten, groped and forced to swallow pills that made her woozy. Two car rides and a train trip later, she and her captors arrived at her final destination: the town of Kaithal, almost a thousand miles from her home. A man was waiting for her. He told her that his name was Sandeep Malik and that she was his wife.