Inter-caste marriages remain contentious in Nepal where families frequently resort to force in order to stop them.

A government minister is reported to have forced a young Nepalese woman to be separated from her husband because he was from a lower caste.

Dan Bahadur Chaudhary, the state minister for industry, ordered the administration in his home district of Kapilavastu to forcibly separate Sarita Chaudhary, 25, from her husband Taulan Kohar, 28. Reportedly, the young woman was removed from her in-law’s house against her will and sent back to her parental home.

Sarita Chaudhary’s family had objected to the marriage, and the couple had eloped to Mumbai, India, nine months ago to perform the ceremony before returning to Nepal.

Inter-caste marriage remains a contentious issue in both Nepal and India. Couples are forcibly separated, and in recent weeks, a number of so-called honour killings have taken place in India.

Last year, the Nepal government announced an incentive of 100,000 Nepali Rupees to couples from different castes if they got married. The gesture was meant to end discrimination against the country’s Dalits who still face caste discrimination.

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