Indian Girl aged 13 forced to Marry Groom after Sister Elopes

In Uttar Pradesh, a 13-year-old girl was forced to marry the groom after her elder sister eloped with her secret boyfriend.

child marriage

"the family pretended that the elder daughter was marrying"

A 13-year-old girl was forced to marry a 22-year-old man after her sister eloped.

The incident happened in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.

The 20-year-old woman had a boyfriend but her marriage had been arranged to another man.

Just days before the wedding, the woman eloped with her lover. Even though she returned four days before the wedding, the groom refused to marry her.

According to police, the family then asked her younger sister to take her place as the bride.

The matter came to light when Child Welfare Committee (CWC) officials investigated a child marriage complaint.

In her complaint, social activist Raj Kumari stated that CWC chairperson Preeti Singh found out about a potential child marriage in a village.

Ms Singh immediately sent a team and police officers to verify the information.

A wedding was being organised at a farmer’s house.

The farmer insisted that it was his eldest daughter who was getting married.

When concerns about the child marriage were raised again, Ms Singh sent a team to the farmer’s residence.

After recording statements from the teenage girl and family members, the CWC realised it was the younger sister who got married.

Ms Singh said: “On December 13, when the police and child welfare team reached the farmer’s place, the family pretended that the elder daughter was marrying the groom.

“However, after the team went back, the real ceremony, involving the minor girl, took place inside the house.”

On December 19, 2023, police booked 111 people.

These included the groom, the girl’s family and the priest who solemnised the marriage and those who attended the function, under The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, which forbids marriage of females below 18 and males below 21, and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

However, no one has been arrested in the case but an investigation is underway.

Speaking about the girl’s statement, Ms Singh said:

“She has been returned to their parents after collecting an affidavit from them.

“The family agreed they would not get her married off before the permissible age.”

“They also stated in the affidavit that they would make sure the girl’s education does not get stopped.”

Although The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act is in effect, it is estimated that each year, at least 1.5 million girls under 18 get married in India.

Nearly 16% of girls aged 15-19 are currently married.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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