After Arab Sheiks, it seems Hyderabad has turned into a bride market for men from elsewhere as well. On Friday, a 44-year-old engineer from Sudan was arrested for allegedly marrying a minor girl from Moghalpura area in the old city area of Hyderabad.
Speaking exclusively to NDV, the minor girl said she, along with four other girls had been paraded before the Sudanese national on February 21. After the 'groom' chose her, a qazi had performed the nikaah (Islamic marriage) and even before she realised what was happening, her 'kabool' had been taken, the girl added.
The girl said her parents had been paid Rs 1 lakh as 'meher' or bride price, with a promise to pay another lakh when the 'groom' would end the marriage and leave.
The girl managed to escape last night and approached the Moghalpura police and narrated the incident to them.
The accused, Osama Ibrahim, who works as a project engineer with a petroleum company in Khartoum in Sudan, has been arrested. He came to India after one of his friends informed him that he could get married to a girl in Hyderabad, police claimed. According to the police, Ibrahim has said he is already married and has two children in Sudan.
The girl's father, Yousuf Patel, her aunt Mumtaz Begum and two other brokers have also been arrested.
The police has recorded the girl's statement on video to ward off any criticism later that the girl had complained under pressure. They intend to get her statement recorded before a magistrate on Saturday.
The minor girl has refused to return home as she got no support from her family of 16. She has a younger sister and two younger brothers. She is hoping her action will act as a deterrent to stop her parents from subjecting her younger sister to the same treatment she got. The girl is seeking support from the government to continue education or at least get trained in vocational courses, so she can earn her livelihood.