The Bharatiya Janata Party in Jharkhand is facing criticism and embarrassment after their state unit president Tala Marandi got his son married to a 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand’s Godda region.
According to reports, the BJP chief’s son got married to a Class 6 girl, identified as Ritu Baski, on June 27. The reports of marriage came in days after the politician’s son, Munna, was accused of sexually abusing another minor under the pretext of marrying her.
Few weeks ago, a 16-year-old girl appeared before the State Commission for Women, Jharkhand and accused Munna of sexually assaulting her. The girl told media that Munna initially saw her during the poll campaign in 2014, following which he met her a her a few times.
On January 1, 2016, Munna visited her house to wish her for the New Year. When he saw that the girl was alone in the house, he forced himself on her. When she resisted, Munna promised to marry her. The girl even informed her parents about Munna’s promise. Over the next few weeks, he took the girl to various places and believing in his promise, the girl’s family never opposed their relationship.
In April, Munna told the girl that he was under pressure from parents to get married and his marriage was already fixed with someone else. In a state of shock and disbelief, the girl approached the Godda court.
After the family of the girl, who Munna was about to get married to, came to know about his past and the accusations against him, they backed out of the marriage a day before the wedding.
Since the wedding preparations were already done, the politician got his son married to another minor, Ritu Baski, last minute.
When details regarding the BJP state president’s son’s wedding to a minor and previous complaints became known, Jharkhand Pradesh Women Congress Committee President Abha Sinha demanded the arrest of Munna Marandi alleging that three girls have accused him of sexual exploitation.
She said while the state government is making claims of protecting the rights of women, in reality it is failing to take action against its own people.
Tala Marandi tried to justify his son’s marriage by claiming that in rural areas age of girls is not verified for the purpose of marriage. He also said the opposition is fabricating the story of the girl being a minor.
Inputs from IANS