Sarpanch in MP fired for attempting to marry 12-year-old girl
The local administration inquired about his marriage, and was told by villagers at his Bahrar Jagir village that the girl was just 12.bhopal Updated: Dec 27, 2017 22:55 IST
Jagannath Gurjar’s dream of a lavish wedding proved to be his undoing.
The 56-year-old village chief in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district allegedly forged documents to marry a 12-year-old girl. He was planning a big splash at his marriage ceremony for months, and had booked a helicopter ride for the December 11 wedding.
But his application to build a temporary helipad brought about his downfall.
The local administration started to inquire about his marriage, and was told by villagers at his Bahrar Jagir village that the girl was just 12. The authorities then dispatched a joint team of district and child development department officials to the wedding. “Gurjar showed fake documents proving the girl an adult. When administration cross checked the documents from her school, she was found to be only 12 years old,” said Bhaskar Lakshakar, collector of Morena.
He has now been dismissed from his position and barred from contesting local body polls for six years. A police complaint of fraud was also registered against him and another person for allegedly faking documents.
Gurjar has dismissed the charges and claimed the girl was 19. “I fixed the marriage three years ago but couldn’t marry her because she was a minor at that time. I have a medical certificate which proves that the girl is an adult,” he said. The girl’s family refused to comment.
District officials told HT that Gurjar’s first wife, in her 40s, lives with him and he took a “no-objection certificate” from her. This is the first time that a public official has been sacked on such allegations in a state where child marriages are prevalent.