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Teenagers behind bars after marriage

Behrampore, Nov. 30: Allama Firdaus, a boy of 13, and Mahila Khatoon, his 16-year-old neighbour here, eloped on Friday. They returned home past midnight, married.

Khatoon’s father Babur Ali accompanied the two. Police said the children, not old enough to be a couple, were married off by a Muslim Marriage Registrar, Moulana Nizamuddin.

Firdaus’ father yesterday complained to the police at Rejinagar, 165 km from Calcutta, that Ali had kidnapped his son. Moulana Nizamuddin figured in the complaint as well.

On Friday, Firdaus and Khatoon left home for school as usual. When they did not return, family members started to panic.

“Around midnight, Babur Ali came in a car with Firdaus and his daughter. He told me ‘here is your son and daughter-in-law’ and left,” said Mohammed Nizamuddin.

The childhood friends, who claim to have been lovers for two years, had a different tale to tell. Firdaus said: “I was not kidnapped, I am in love. No one has forced me to marry Mahila.”

“I cannot live without him (Firdaus),” said the love-struck girl and vowed to repeat herself hoarse. The friends are in police station now.

Superintendent Gyanwant Singh said: “Both are minors and so they could not be arrested.”

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