Patna: Arrests have started. Bihar gets serious about tackling underage marriages.
A middle-aged man was arrested from Samastipur district on Thursday on the charge of marrying a minor girl. A day earlier, a Madhubani court sent the parents of another minor girl to jail on the charge of violating provisions of the Child Marriage Restraint Act.
A police team arrested Mohammad Saddam from Haripur village in Samastipur district for violating the CMRA on Thursday. Saddam, already a father of three, married a a 14-year-old girl from Darbhanga.
“Child marriage is not only illegal but also a punishable offence,” Darbhanga additional superintendent of police (ASP) Dilnawaz Ahmad said on Thursday. “The police arrested one such offender from neighbouring Samastipur district.” Saddam was later produced in the court, which remanded him to 14 days in judicial custody.
ASP Ahmad said Saddam had forced parents of the minor girl, a resident of Purukhopatti village under the jurisdiction of Bahadurpur police station in Darbhanga district, to marry off their daughter. The police arrested Saddam when he was about to leave the venue after nikah (marriage). The police are on the lookout for the cleric who solemnized the marriage.
On Wednesday, a court in Madhubani district sent parents of a 17-year-old girl to jail for getting their under-aged daughter married off to a 20-year-old youth at a village under the jurisdiction of Devdha police station of the district. The court headed by additional chief judicial magistrate Shailendra Kumar Sharma also ordered to send the bridegroom to jail and the bride to a child aftercare home.
Earlier, a case was lodged with the Devdha police station under Jay Nagar sub-division in Madhubani district on the statement of a village chowkidar, Upendra Yadav. The court turned down the bail application of the girl’s parents and sent them to judicial custody on Wednesday. Chief minister Nitish Kumar launched a campaign against child marriage and dowry, after civil society organisations pointed out that Bihar had surpassed Rajasthan in Child Marriage..
Both incidents take place a couple of days before Nitish’s “human chain against child marriage and dowry”, scheduled for January 21.