A two-and-a half-year-old girl has been married off to a 12-year-old boy in a village in Bhilwara, showing people still manage to evade the strict government measures implemented to prevent child marriages in the state.
The marriage took place in a temple in Meja village on June 21. After getting information about it, the police on Friday morning arrested Shankar Gadri, father of the bride Sanju, and Mangu Gadri, father of the bridegroom Shankar.
Kailash Sharma, a priest who solemnised the marriage, and matchmaker Ladu Gadri were also arrested and booked under the Prevention of Child Marriage Act (2006), said superintendent of police HG Raghvendra Suhas. The accused were presented before a local court in Mandal, which granted them bail.
It is for the first time in Bhilwara that the police have arrested parents of children married off before attaining the legal age for marriage.
Timely intervention by authorities on Akshya Tritiya festival a few months ago prevented twenty child marriages in other parts of the district.
A National Family Health survey says more than 40% of girls in India are married before they turn 18, which is illegal. In Rajasthan, the figure is much higher at nearly 53%.