The Inside Story
Techie tries to stop child marriage in Noida, thrashed

NOIDA: A 29-year-old software engineer from Noida was battered when she tried to stop a woman from forcibly marrying off her daughter to a man 10 years older than her. The victim, also a volunteer with an NGO Aid India, is admitted in the ICU of a private hospital with serious injuries. Police said the techie was attacked with a knife and bricks by the prospective groom, who was egged on by the minor's mother. Cops have arrested him along with the mother.

Police said the victim, identified as Linkan Subuddhi, is a software developer with a leading USA-based IT company. The incident occurred around 11am on Thursday after Linkan reached the house of the 15-year-old Sabha (named changed) after getting a call for help. Sabha is a student of Class VIII in a charitable school in Noida. Linkan has been teaching the girl for the past year. Linkan had reportedly helped her a year ago in a similar issue and managed to ward off the marriage.

Sabha was allegedly being forced to marry her cousin, who has been living with the family for the last two years. As she was opposed to the marriage and wanted to continue with her studies, she called Linkan on Wednesday night to persuade her mother to give up the idea. "However, when Linkan reached the house on Thursday morning, the prospective groom Siraj and Sabha's mother got violent and attacked her," said Shivram Yadav, DSP, Noida.

Slipping in and out of consciousness, Linkan narrated the horrific incident to TOI. "While I was trying to convince Sabha's mother, Siraj whipped out a knife and sprung on me. I ran to save myself, but he chased me through the congested colony and finally cornered me. He tried to stab me, hit me on the head with a brick and attempted to strangle me. Sabha's mother also attacked me. I don't know what happened after that as I lost consciousness," Linkan said.

Colony residents intervened and rescued the profusely bleeding Linkan. She was taken to Kailash Hospital while the two accused fled. Doctors said Linkan has sustained severe head injuries and suffered internal haemorrhaging with multiple injuries all over her body. "We have had to give her more than 40 stitches on her head and body. Though critical, she is in a stable condition. We will have to observe her for 72 hours," said Dr Anoop Agarawal.

Linkan is a native of Odisha and has been residing in Noida since 2008. She also works as a project coordinator for Aid Noida, the Noida chapter of NGO Aid India. Sabha's father is absconding. His two other daughters were also married off when they were just 15 and 16 years old.

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