Hyderabad: A minor girl was forcibly married on her 12th birthday to her 35-year-old uncle, D. Ravinder, in Keshampet mandal under the Cyberabad police commissionerate limits on Monday.
All the guests present on the occasion had been invited on the pretext that it was her birthday party. None of them were reportedly aware that a marriage was to be performed.
According to reliable police sources, the victim’s parents, T. Gopal and Yellamma , invited villagers and relatives for their elder daughter’s birthday on May 12.
On realising that she would be married off, and unable to reconcile with the life-long nightmare ahead, the young girl defied her parents’ will. The petrified victim fled from the room where her parents were making arrangements for the first night .
The villagers learnt of the ‘actual’ purpose of the event after learning that the girl had escaped to another uncle’s house in Keshampet. Gopal and Yellamma reached the uncle’s house and dragged her back to their house.
The same night, the victim managed to flee, yet again. Sources said the girl first went to Keshampet sarpanch Vishnuvardhan Reddy’s house for help but he was supposedly away in Hyderabad.
On Monday, she approached K. Lakshmi, an Anganwadi teacher, who consoled and counselled her. Ms Lakshmi then alerted Sirisha Yadav, Keshampet supervisor of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). Together, the duo lodged a complaint with Keshampat police.
“The victim was married to her 35-year-old uncle on May 14. Now she is safe in our shelter home in Rachakonda. Inspector Praveen Kumar has assured that action would be taken against the minor girl’s parents and all those involved in the marriage,” Sirisha Yadav said.
Praveen Kumar said, “We are investigating the matter. We will book a case against the victim’s parents and the 'groom' uncle under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.”
Despite repeated warnings by the Woman Development & Child Welfare (WD&CW), the ICDS and police, instances of sporadic child marriages keep getting reported from different parts of the state....