The women police of Jamangar raided a marriage party and prevented the nuptial from taking place after finding out that the bride was a minor girl from Maharashtra, and that she had not attained the marriageable age of 18 years.
After getting a tip off, a team from the woman police station of Jamnagar raided Brahma Kshtriya Vadi in Gulabnagar area of Jamnagar at around 10:45 and prevented marriage of one Chandresh Ganatra (31) to the minor girl from Dharwad district of Maharashtra.
“We demanded birth certificate of the girl. Her family produced school leaving certificate which indicated she was 16 years old and therefore ineligible for marriage. After this, we ordered both the families to cancel the ceremony,” woman police sub-inspector Rekha Rathod said.
In India, the marriageable age for a man is 21 years while that for a woman, it is 18 years.
The PSI added that the girl belonged to a scheduled tribe family which earned its leaving by working as agricultural labourers in Dharwad and that she had dropped out of school after Class V.
Ganatra’s elder brother Nilesh told police that they were finding it difficult to find a bride for his 31-year-old labourer brother. “The girl’s maternal aunt is married to a man in Jamnagar. Nilesh had come in contact with this man. The man had made the match with help of his wife. The Gantras are saying they had agreed to pay the bill of around Rs40,000 for the wedding ceremony. The girls family and relatives had come from Maharashtra to Jamnagar for the marriage,” Rathod further said.
After the raid, the police also contacted child marriage prevention officer (CMPO) of Jamnagar district.
“We asked the girl if she would like to go to the special home for women. But she said she would go with her parents and we allowed to return her,” CMPO Sahdev Hisrani told The Indian Express.
The women police station of Jamnagar has filed a case against Chandresh, his brother Nilesh, his sister-in-law Anita, parents of the girls, her aunt and uncle and Tushar Jani, the priest who was to solemnise the marriage. The eight have been booked under Sections 9, 10, 11 of the Prevention of Child Marriage Act, 2006. The sections entail rigourous impriosonment for two years and monetary fine upto Rs 1 lakh.