Uttar Pradesh minister faces dowry allegations

Lucknow, Feb 1 (Calcutta Tube) An enquiry has been initiated against Uttar Pradesh Sports Minister Ayodhya Prasad Pal over allegations that he called off his son’s marriage because the woman’s family failed to meet a Rs.5 million dowry demand, police said Monday.

Pal’s son Om Dutt was apparently engaged to the daughter of a doctor in Chitrakoot district in October 2008 but the minister has now called off the engagement allegedly over the family’s inability to pay dowry.

‘The inquiry has been initiated against the minister and his family also, following a written complaint registered by the doctor Prabal Pratap,’ district police chief Aparna H.S. told reporters in Chitrakoot, some 280 km from Lucknow.

According to Pratap, the engagement ceremony took place Oct 7, 2008 at a tourist bungalow in Karvi town in Chitrakoot. Since then, the minister has been delaying the marriage and is now demanding dowry.

‘He (minister) now says the only way to get my daughter married to his son is to give Rs.50 lakh (Rs.5 million). The minister has even openly challenged me to get a case registered against him for demanding dowry,’ Pratap told reporters.

‘I have also learnt that the minister has now arranged his son’s marriage to the daughter of an engineer in the irrigation department in Allahabad,’ he added.

According to Pratap, he had submitted necessary evidence to prove he had spent over Rs.500,000 on gifts that were given to Pal’s family on the occasion of the engagement ceremony.

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