Hyderabad: A 15-year-old being forcibly married to a physically challenged 38-year-old man was rescued last evening as the ceremony was in progress at a temple in Hyderabad. The girl -- a bright student who just passed her Class 10 board exams -- was promised to the man after her parents failed to pay rent to his parents for months.
- The girl was rescued from a local temple where the wedding was on
- She was promised to the man after her parents failed to pay rent
- The groom cannot walk and stands with difficulty
The groom, Ramesh Gupta, cannot walk and stands with difficulty. He oversees a mechanic shop set up for him by his parents.
How much the girl's parents, migrant labourers from Odisha, owed Chennayya Gupta, their landlord, is not clear. When they failed to pay up, the man insisted they marry their daughter to his son.
"They wanted someone to look after their son and demanded that either the girl be married to their son or the family pay the money they owed,'' police inspector P.Jagadeeshwar of Mailardevpally police station told NDTV.
The girl's mother Urmila said Ramesh's family had supported them ever since they came to Hyderabad and started living in the lower-middle class locality of Kattedan. "We promised to get her married to him when she was in Class 9. She also agreed, so we went ahead," she said. Upset, the girl's father, Srikant, had left the house yesterday.
In a scene straight out of silver screen, the girl was rescued last evening from a local temple. The police and the local child welfare officials, who had been tipped off by an unidentified person, walked in and put a stop to the wedding ceremony midway.
The couple, originally residents of Odisha's Balasore district, had migrated to Hyderabad four years ago. They have been bringing up three children on the meagre wages they earn as labourers. The teen who was being married is the eldest. They also have a younger son and a daughter.
The teen has now been taken to a home for girls.
A case under the Prevention of Child Marriage Act has been registered against the groom, his father Chennayya Gupta and mother Palli Ramachandramma.