Ingushetia increases cost of abducting brides: report

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Muslim leaders in Ingushetia have tripled the compensation for bridal abductions and also ramped up the cost of cancelling blood debts as practiced in the North Caucasus, Russian media reported Friday.

"In the past, the dowry [in bridal abductions] was worth 12,500 rubles [320 euros, 405 dollars]," Mufti Isa-Khadji Khamkhoev said in an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency.

"At the time a young woman could buy things with this money, but now it is not possible due to rising prices, which is why, at the request of inhabitants, it has been agreed to raise the dowry to 40,000 rubles," he said.

Bridal abductions -- where a young woman is taken for marriage by another family and her father is paid a dowry -- is an established practice in the North Caucasus region.

The Mufti also said the price of cancelling a blood debt had been increased from 100,000 rubles to one million rubles.

The new prices were set at a conference of Muslims in Ingushetia on Tuesday, the news agency reported.

Ingushetia's president Yunus-bek Yevkurov discussed the issue at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Tuesday, saying the money was a way for the new family to support the bride and future children.

According to RIA Novosti, Putin said the increase in prices was justified, and warned against raising public fears about inflation which has been steady at around six percent.

© 2010 AFP

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