Few cities in the world are famous for their jails and even fewer jails are known for weddings! Yes, Bareilly Central Jail is the place where the first prison wedding ever in India took place.
The 7th of August, 1936, was a historic day in the history of the Indian prison system. On this day, Yashpal, an accomplished Hindi language author and freedom fighter, was married to his fiancée and lover Prakashvati.
Yashpal was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HRSA), a radical anti-colonial organization that believed in armed struggle against the British rule in India.
He was convicted of several charges of attacking British officers and was finally arrested in 1932 when he was sent to the Bareilly Central Jail to serve 14 years in prison.
In spite of his failing health and bleak future prospects, Prakashvati insisted on marrying him and the jailer allowed her to do so on humane grounds.
The incident caused an instant furore all over the country and a new law was enacted banning any future wedding to take place in Indian prisons.
While that time is long gone, Bareilly Central Jail continues to be remembered for this historic moment.