Child marriage is a punishable offence in India, still there are some people who do not refrain from this practice. In Hisar district of Haryana, the authorities have stopped marriages of three minor girls in two days. Now, one more case from Badhawar village in the district has come to light in which a 17-year-old girl was allegedly forced to marry a resident from a village near Bhuna town in Fatehabad district. The wedding was planned by both the families in a secretive manner.
However, when some villagers got to know about the alleged crime, they informed the district child protection officer Babita Chaudhary, before the arrival of the groom at the wedding venue.
Based on the information, Chaudhary and her assistant Sachin Mehta along with a team of Barwala police raided the spot on Thursday and succeeded in stopping the marriage of the minor, while the preparations were underway. The statement of the girl was recorded and her family members were provided counselling against child marriage.
A similar case of child marriage surfaced from Hisar’s Ludas village on Wednesday where a 17-year-old girl was scheduled to marry a resident of Jind on July 20. When the police raided the house, the wedding preparations were going on at that time. Police got to know that the girl’s younger sister, who is just 15-years-old, was also engaged to a man from Chandigarh and their wedding was soon about to take place.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put thousands of minor girls at an increased risk of being forced into marriage and never returning to school. According to Childline India, there was a 17% increase in child marriage in June and July last year when the nationwide lockdown was eased. As families have lost their livelihoods and girls have dropped out of schools due to lack of access to the internet and smartphones for online classes, several teenage girls are being married off.
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