Officials fail to stop minor's marriage Jangaon district

The girl had recently completed her Class-X and was doing her Intermediate in Jangaon.

Hyderabad: Despite being alerted, officials failed to stop the marriage of a 17-year-old to a married man who is aged 40, in Jangaon district on Sunday. The girl had recently completed her Class-X and was doing her Intermediate in Jangaon.

Child rights activist Achyuta Rao identified the man as one Ashok, a farmer. This was his second marriage, he said. The marriage was performed on Friday last at Chipparala tanda in Devaruppula of Jangaon district.

“I messaged the Devaruppula sub-inspector. the collector, the field welfare committee and the district welfare officer. They failed to act in time,” Mr Achyuta Rao said. “I informed the sub-inspector at about 11.30 am on June 21,” he said.

Asked about the alert and his inaction, Devaruppula sub-inspector Narendar Reddy said, “I got to know about the marriage on the evening of June 22 that the marriage had taken place at 1.30 am on June 21. The marriage was over and I was helpless.”

He said he had launched an inquiry, and the parents told him that the girl was a major. “I asked them to submit the birth certificate. They came on Saturday to submit ID proof and from that I came to know that she is more than 17 years of age.”

Her SSC certificate shows her age as July 15, 2001, which makes her 16 years and 11 months old. State child welfare officials said the sub-inspector is the ‘child marriage prohibition officer’ as per law who has the power to stop the marriage of a minor.

Sources said the minor, her husband and her parents are absconding.

Mr Venkat Swamy, state programme director of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, said, “The child is 17 and definitely a minor. If the marriage was consummated, it will also amount to rape if a case is filed.”

He said there was no question of consent because the girl is a minor. Child welfare officials said the comment by the police official is baseless and could harm her case.

Mr Swamy said, “The child welfare department should approach us with the inquiry report and documents. Since it is a Sunday, they said they would come on Monday. I could not take any action because of the procedure. I am waiting for the report.”

District welfare officer B. Padmaja Ramana said the police informed them late. “They didn’t support. They didn’t give any details. Police on June 22 said the girl was a major. When we inquired on June 23 we got to know that she is a minor. We have complained to the DCP, Jangaon. We are planning to take action against the people involved.”

If charges are filed, the accused could be tried for rape for which the maximum punishment is life in prison. Those who performed the wedding and supported it will be tried under the Child Marriage Prohibition Act. The husband can face rigorous imprisonment for two years and a fine up to Rs 1 lakh.

Dowry harassment claims 1 more

A 23-year-old woman committed suicide on Saturday in Balanagar after being harassed by her husband and in-laws for dowry.

According to T. Govardhan, ACP, Balanagar, Madhulatha, married Satyanarayana, a year ago. “Madhulatha and her parents told Satyanarayana that they will give some dowry. On Saturday when her husband went out, she committed suicide,” the official said.

Satyanarayana is absconding and the officials are trying to trace him. A case has been registered under Sections of Dowry Prohibition Acts and IPC in Balanagar.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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