The Telegraph
Monday , February 18 , 2013
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Man held for bid to marry minor

Hazaribagh, Feb. 17: A 60-year-old man was today arrested at Pahadidih in Muffasil police station area of Giridih after residents rang alarm bells while he was in the middle of getting married to a minor.

Muffasil police registered a case against Mohammad Latif, a resident of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh who worked at a car-repairing centre in his native place.

Sources said the father of the 13-year-old girl had fixed her marriage with Latif, who he met through a common relative after he came to Giridih few days ago.

The marriage rituals began at the house of the girl’s father, a rickshaw-puller, this afternoon. Soon, however, 50 to 60 villagers who came to know about the incident started protesting.

The girl’s father said he earned a meagre amount and that it was hard for him to make ends meet. “It was tough for me to marry my daughter to a suitable groom for want of money,” he told the villagers.

But they were not ready to accept his arguments and caught Latif, saying they would not allow the marriage to go ahead.

Pehle bhi iss zilla ki ladkiyon ko aise hi shaadi kar ke baich diya gaya. Aaj tak unka kuch aata pata nahi hai (Girls have been married away similarly in Giridih in the past. No one knows about their whereabouts now),” a villager shouted. Sources said the girl’s mother died a few years ago and her father remarried.

“We don’t want to interfere in a family matter but we will never allow anything illegal in our locality,” said Shamshu Mian, a resident.

He claimed that marriages of minor girls were common in remote villages of Giridih. “Only two to three cases get highlighted every year. What we did today will prompt others to react similarly if they know about such incidents,” he told The Telegraph.