MAGAS, Republic of Ingushetia, November 9 (RIA Novosti) – Republican elders and Islamic clerics in the Russian republic of Ingushetia agreed to hike unofficial fines for bride kidnapping in a bid to stop the custom that led to a bloody shootout last month.
Stealing a woman to take her as wife will now cost the groom 200,000 rubles ($6,100), up from 10,000 rubles ($305), participants decreed at the ongoing Islamic Conference in the republican capital Magas.
Groom’s helpers, village elders who endorse the kidnapping and the owner of the house that hosts the kidnapped woman would pay up 100,000 rubles each, a spokesman for the republican government said Saturday.
The fines are unofficial, but decisions of clerics and elders have much weight in the predominantly Islamic and traditionalist southern republic.
The majority of bride kidnappings in the North Caucasus are believed to be mock incidents.
However, three people, including a pregnant passer-by, were slain in a street fight between two Ingush clans that followed a bride kidnapping in October.
The neighboring Chechnya set up a fine of 1 million rubles ($30,500) for bride kidnapping in 2010, but republican strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov later admitted it failed to stop the custom.