Police arrest mother, priest for marrying off 9-year-old in Navi Mumbai

Police arrest mother, priest for marrying off 9-year-old in Navi Mumbai
Representational Image.Courtesy: Biyokulule

Rabale MIDC police, on Monday, arrested a woman for marrying off her 9-year-old daughter to a local shopkeeper. The groom and priest were also arrested.

According to a police official, Sheela Rajendra Chauhan had three daughters. But because of their poor financial condition, the 45-year-old decided to marry off her eldest daughter, aged 9, to a groom from their area.

The minor was forced to marry a 25-year-old groom, identified as Sunil Rambelas Chauhan in a private ceremony in Yadav Nagar, Digha in Navi Mumbai on Sunday. Sunil owned a shop near Thakur Chawl, where Sheela resided with her daughters. The family had called Narshingh Ramnarayan Pandey to perform the wedding rituals.

When a local activist, Manoj Mishra, came to know about the minor’s wedding, he immediately rushed to Rabale MIDC police and informed them. But by the time cops reached the spot, the ceremony was over and the families had taken off.

Upon investigation, they found out that the minor had already moved to Sunil’s residence. They rushed to his residence, rescued the minor and arrested the newly wed groom. The mobile phone used for clicking pictures of the ceremony were also confiscated.

Following the groom’s arrest, cops also tracked down the priest and took him into custody. All three, the mother, groom and priest, are currently in police custody.

Post the arrest, Sheela told police that her husband had abandoned them a year back. Since then, she had been working hard to feed her family, but was finding it increasingly difficult.

Her daughters have been handed over to a distant relative for the time being.

With inputs from Asian Age

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