Minor girl forced into marriage, rescued by NGO in Rajasthan

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Kota, April 29: A minor girl was rescued by an NGO with the help of police after being reportedly forced into marriage by her parents in Kota district.

The 17-year-old student of class XII informed an NGO, Child Line, on Monday evening that she was being married-off forcefully to a 24-year-old youth and expressed her wish to continue her studies, Coordinator of Child Line, Dinesh Sharma said.

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Police and the NGO asked her family not to solemnise the marriage but they ignored the direction and went ahead with the rituals secretly late on Monday night, Sharma said.

However, while preparations were on to send the girl off with the groom, the girl managed to make another call to the NGO. [Thane police child protection unit foils child marriage]

She was later rescued with the help of police, he added.

The girl, who belongs to Dhobi community of Durga Basti in Kota, is sent to a protection home at Kota after being produced before the Child Welfare Committee on Tuesday, DSP of Jhawarnagar police station, Bhagwat Singh Hingad said on Wednesday.

A case under Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2007 has been lodged against the groom, the girl's uncle, the priest and people who attended the wedding ceremony, Hingad said.

Nearly 20 minor couples were reportedly married off in mass marriage ceremony of Gujjar and Mali communities organised in Hindoli and Thikerda villages of Bundi district in intervening night of April 26 and 27. [Child Marriage Prevention Act secular in nature: HC]

More child marriages are likely to be solemnised in another mass marriage ceremony of Mali community scheduled in Singadi village of Hindoli tonight, sources said.

There is a granted social consent to the child marriages among Mali, Gujjar, Kumhar and Meena communities in Hadouti region, said Ramlal, a resident of Hindoli village.

When contacted, Tara Pandey an official of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) denied any knowledge as such and no such marriage has taken place here. Deputy Director of ICDS, Bundi, Shoba Patak was unavailable for comments.

PTI

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