The news of Kallakurichi AIADMK Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) A Prabhu’s wedding to a 19-year-old-woman named Soundarya spread like wildfire on Monday morning, across Tamil Nadu. The 35-year-old Dalit MLA marrying a Brahmin woman was followed by the bride’s father, S Swaminathan, threatening to immolate himself at the wedding venue on October 5.
Both Prabhu and Soundarya are residents of Thiyagadurugam in Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi district. The bride is reportedly pursuing her second year of college while Prabhu is a B.Tech graduate.
On Monday morning, Soundarya’s father Swaminathan arrived at Prabhu’s house where the wedding was happening, doused himself in flammable liquid and threatened to set himself on fire, alleging that his daughter has been abducted by Prabhu and forced into marriage.
“Kallakurichi MLA A Prabhu lured her (my daughter) with kind words and abducted her on October 1 around 4 pm,” he says to the media. According to reports, the father has alleged that Prabhu had been friendly with his family for the past 15 years and that he has been in love with his daughter for the past four years when she was still a minor. He also claimed that caste was not an issue for him, and his primary opposition was their age difference.
Following allegations that Prabhu had abducted an unwilling Soundarya, the MLA put out a video in which he said that they had been in a relationship not for years but merely for four months. “There are some rumours doing the rounds that I kidnapped her and that threatened to kill her, and therefore forced her to marry me. All that did not happen,” he said.
He further adds that the two were in love for the past four months and that had sought her parents’ permission to marry. “We have been in love for the past 4 months. When I approached her family, asking her hand in marriage, they refused. Then we decided to marry each other with my parents’ permission. I did not threaten her or her family nor did I lure her into marriage. We fell in love and married each other,” he says in the video message. Though Soundarya is next to him in the video, she does not speak in it.
When Swaminathan arrived at the wedding venue, those around prevented him from executing his threat and took him to the police station. A First Information Report (FIR) under section 309 (attempt to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been filed on Swaminathan.