boy marries dog
After the marriage was over, the dog was kicked back to the streets (Representational photo)Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Reuters

A seven-year-old boy in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand has been forced to marry a female dog to ward off his future bad luck. Mukesh Kerayi's horoscope predicted that his first wife would die young. Also, he had grown a tooth in the upper part of his mouth, which according to traditional beliefs is a bad omen.

In order to avoid the death of his first wife, Mukesh's parents married him off with the dog. At the wedding, the dog was dressed in a bridal outfit, while the residents of Manik Bazar village turned out for the celebrations just like a normal marriage. However, after the ceremony was over, the dog was kicked back to the streets.

"We believe the marriage will ward off any bad omen attached to the boy. This is traditional practice in our tribal community and we still believe in these old customs," Mukesh's grandfather Ashok Kumar Leyangi, 43, was quoted as saying by The Metro. "We feel that it is our adult responsibility to keep our children safe and happy this way."

In September 2014, a teenager in Jharkhand was married off to a male dog after her parents believed their daughter was cursed and that marrying a man would bring destruction to the family and her community.

"I am marrying a dog because the village elders believe that my evil spell will be passed on to the dog," Mangli Munda, the bride, had then said. "After that is done, the man I will marry will have a long life," she added.

In 2007, a 33-year-old farm labourer married a dog because he believed he had been cursed for killing two dogs. P. Selvakumar from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu married a four-year-old female stray after suffering from a series of physical ailments.