Wedding stage turns protest venue, seeks justice for Walayar sisters

It was bridegroom Nikhil's idea to stage a protest and bride Archa supported it.

While many opt to make their wedding day memorable with lavish resplendence, pomp and gaeity, a couple hailing from Kozhikode used the occasion for a social cause. Nikhil Nandan and Archa S Kumar made a call for justice for the minor girls in Walayar who had lost their lives under mysterious circumstances.

It was bridegroom Nikhil who conceived the idea of making use of the occasion to demand justice for the sisters. Though many opposed the idea on an auspicious occasion like a marraige ceremony, Nikhil stood firm in his decision.

He thought it was a social responsibility to react to such issues and that the protest on a wedding day would make the protest reach more people.

The bride also supported Nikhil's idea. Relatives and friends of the couple who attended the wedding took part in the protest by wearing gags and lighting candles.

Nikhil had also taken part in the Kerala march led by a club named Dreams Riders demanding measures to ensure child safety. The club's all India march aiming awareness on the subject had also gained wide attention.

It has been almost three years since two minors in Puthussery gram panchayath in Walayar were found hanging from a wooden plank of their thatched hut. The elder daughter, aged 13, died on January 13, 2017. The younger one, aged 9, died 52 days later.

The police had arrested five persons for rape, sexual assault and abetment of suicide and were charged under stringent provisions of the POCSO act.