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Forced child marriage in Bihar.

Byline: ANI

Gaya, May 5 (ANI): Personnel of Bihar Police arrested a few persons involved in the kidnapping of a young boy and conducting his marriage with a girl child by force in Gaya district.

A 15-year-old boy named Lal Babu was kidnapped on Sunday for the wedding, which was solemnised under compulsion and at gunpoint.

A student of tenth standard, Lal Babu was rounded up when he came out of his coaching centre and soon a crowd gathered at the spot.

Reportedly, the kidnappers opened fire to scare away the crowd.

Although the police nabbed Babu, they could not foil the child marriage that was conducted earlier. However, after instant investigations, the child bride was also arrested.

It was also confirmed by the police officials that both girl and boy were below the legal age of marriage, 18 and 21 years respectively.

Police arrested the girl child's mother along with a few others, who according to primary investigations were involved in the kidnapping.

"We have arrested the girl and her mother as they had a hand in this case of kidnapping," said Rajvansh Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Gaya.

Babu said that he was forced by the kidnappers to perform the nuptial rites at gunpoint.

"They asked me to sit for marriage. When I refused, they scared me with a gun and said that will kill me if I don't obey. They made me perform all the rituals and including the application of vermilion at gunpoint," said Babu.

The Indian Child Marriage (Prevention) Act terms wedding of boys less than 21 years and girls less than 18 as illegal.

The law is applicable to all communities and the parents who solemnise child marriages can be jailed upto two years.

Despite being illegal since 1929, child marriage is still rampant in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:May 6, 2009
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