Kurnool: In a shocking case of child marriage, a 13-year-old boy was married to a woman ten years elder to him at Upparahal village in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district in April, police said on Saturday.
The ceremony was reportedly conducted as the boy’s terminally ill mother wanted the family to have an adult woman to take care of the household after her demise, local residents said.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, although the minor’s marriage was held at his residence on April 27, the local authorities came to know about it only after photographs of the ceremony went viral on the social media.
The bride is daughter of a couple from Chanikaur village in Karnataka’s Bellary district. Both the families are reportedly absconding ever since the news came to light. A team of government officials led by district women development and child welfare officer Sharada and local tahsildar Srinivasa Rao visited Upparahal to probe the wedding, only to find their house locked.
The locals said the terminally ill woman and her husband are agricultural labourers. “As the woman’s husband is an alcoholic, she was worried that nobody would be there to take care of the family after her death. She believed that the family would at least have somebody to take care of domestic chores if her eldest son was married off to an adult woman,” Hindustan Times quotes a neighbour as saying on the condition of anonymity. She further told that the couple has two sons and two daughters.
“The marriage will be cancelled as it is not valid as per law. If the parents do not hand the bride and the groom over to the district authorities within two days, we will a file a case against them,” said tehsildar Srinivasa Rao.