Kerala: Case of Child Marriage reported in Malappuram
By: Pragya Singh
A case of Child Marriage in Malappuram was registered at Karwarkunda Police Station on Saturday, which resulted in the arrest of the 25-year-old groom and the parents of the minor girl by the Kerala State Police.
The SHO of the Malappuram police station, Manoj Prayatta, told PTI that whoever helped conduct the wedding including the caterers, the videographers and even the guests would be charged. They will all be summoned for questioning under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
Anyone caught conducting child marriages in the country is liable to five years of punishment and a maximum fine of Rs 10 lakh.
The wedding in question was held a week ago. The minor girl and the groom both belong to a minority community. A case was registered under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, and warrants signed after the officials got the news through unidentified sources, and decided to probe into the matter, reported ANI.
“Usually, such marriages are conducted secretly. They won't take photographs and the people in the area will not cooperate with the investigation by handing over the pieces of evidence. Still, we will carry out the investigation seriously and ensure maximum punishment for the people involved so that such cases don't happen again,” said the officer. Inspector Prayatta said to the agency that the statement of the minor girl had been recorded.
As per reports by The Hindu, between January 2019 and July 2020, officials received a total number of 266 complaints against child marriages. Of these, 220 child marriages were prevented by officials of the women and child department.
As traced back, a study conducted as a part of the reproductive child health project observed that Malappuram even has stories of women being grandmothers before the age of 40.
Another report by Gulf News shows that 2.7 males and 9.1 females got married before they attained the age of 18 for girls and 21 for boys. Whereas the average marriage age for males was 28.7 and 22.7 for females.
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