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WhatsApp helps Prevent Marriage of a Minor Girl in Maharashtra

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Whatsapp, Pixabay

Mumbai, May 07, 2017: A WhatsApp message sent by an alert neighbour to a Mumbai journalist, who in turn alerted the authorities, helped prevent a minor girl’s marriage in this tourist city, officials said on Saturday.

Prompt police action foiled the marriage of the girl – aged 17 years and 8 months – in Harsul area of the city on Friday afternoon.

The Mumbai journalist forwarded the WhatsApp message to the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission Chairperson Vijaya Rahate.

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“As it sounded serious, I contacted the Aurangabad Deputy Commissioner of Police-Zone II Rahul Shrirame around 9 a.m., requesting him to look into the matter urgently,” Rahate said.

“I immediately despatched a two-member police team from the local Harsul police station to go and fully enquire into the matter and inform me of the factual position,” Shrirame told IANS.

The police team led by Inspector Dnyanesh Sable reached the marriage venue where full merry-making was underway with dancing, music and the marriage feast being readied nearby.

“We went and met the families of the bride and the groom who were making last-minute preparations for the ‘mangal mahurat’ scheduled at 11 a.m. in an adjacent temple,” Sable told IANS.

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As the guests continued their revelry, Sable and his men made discreet investigations with the two families and learnt that the girl was indeed a minor and could not be married for at least another four months as per Indian law. The legal age to marry for women in India is 18.

The police learnt that the teen came from a very poor family, her mother had deserted her father who is paralysed since years and unable to support the family, and dependent on relatives for sheer survival.

A marriage proposal was received for the girl at a recent family wedding, which her uncle and others pursued and the wedding was finalised for May 5.

Sable informed DCP Shrirame and the police counselled the two families, making it absolutely clear that if they went ahead with the wedding they could face stringent police action.

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“Fortunately, the boy’s side also understood the gravity of the situation. They have decided to perform the marriage after some more months elapses and the girl is legally eligible to marry,” DCP Shrirame said.

In a bid to assuage the feelings of a large number of wedding guests, the police team requested them to partake of the marriage feast, but minus the wedding, of course.

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The police also requested the guests to ensure they returned to bless the couple at their ‘legal marriage’ after four months and received a huge round of applause in the marquee for their prudent handling of the delicate situation.

Shrirame and Rahate said that though social networking sites have a lot of irrelevant stuff circulating if used properly it can act as a major catalyst in preventing such potentially serious incidents. IANS

Next Story

Child Marriage Annulled by Rajasthan Court

Judge Pradeep Kumar Jain issued an order nullifying the child marriage

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child marriage
Say no to Child marriage. Pixabay

A Rajasthan court has annulled the wedding of an 18-year-old girl who was married when she was just 10-month-old. Maina, daughter of a daily wage worker of Dhandhaniya Bhayla village, was married to a man in Udaysar village on December 26, 2001.

She sought help from Kriti Bharti, rehabilitation psychologist and managing trustee of Saarthi Trust. Bharti helped her file a petition in a family court in February seeking annulment of marriage.

Judge Pradeep Kumar Jain of the family court-1 of Jodhpur on Friday issued an order nullifying the child marriage.

child marriage
New decision by Rajasthan Court on Child Marriage. Pixabay

When Maina’s in-laws came to know about the petition, they approached ‘panchs’ who pressurised her and her family members to withdrew it and threatened the family of penalty and social boycott. However, during counselling Maina’s husband agreed to end the marriage.

Also Read: Economic Outgrowths of Education in India

Maina said, “The marriage had ruined me. The annulment of my child marriage has given me a new life. Now I will study.” Bharti said, efforts were being made for rehabilitation of Maina. (IANS)