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Father married off minor to 32-yr-old man in Tarn Taran, activists allege police inaction

The 13-year-old girl was married off by her father, Rajbir Singh of Pandori Ran Singh village, 10 km from Tarn Taran, to a man named Sandeep Singh of Pakhoke village

punjab Updated: Jul 30, 2017 09:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Tarn Taran
Child marriage,TArn Taran,Punjab
(Representative Image)

A minor girl was allegedly married off to a 32-year-old man on July 21 and then assaulted by her parents when she escaped the house of the ‘husband’ to return to the family, according to information that came to light on Saturday.

The 13-year-old girl was married off by her father, Rajbir Singh of Pandori Ran Singh village, 10 km from Tarn Taran, to a man named Sandeep Singh of Pakhoke village, said activist Gurmeet Singh Chabal, in violation of the law that sets the minimum age for marriage for girls at 18.

The girl, who is now again with her parents, had managed to return to her parents’ house on July 24, but they refused to accept her. Villagers opposed their move. Sharanjit Singh, the sarpanch, said, “We opposed the family members of the girl for the sin! But the family didn’t pay any heed.”

When she had returned, the girl was allegedly thrashed by her father and was not allowed to enter her home, after which she went to the Chabhal police station to register a complaint. “However, without taking any action, the police handed her back to the parents, who again insisted that she return to her in-laws’ house,” said activist Navjot Kaur Chabal, an advocate, adding, “The police should have taken strict action against the parents and her so-called in-laws and husband.”

“The station house officer (SHO) should have conducted a medical examination of the girl and it was his duty to take action,” she added. “If the police fail in the duty, we will take the matter to the high court.”

Gurmeet Chabal said, “We have lodged a complaint in this regard to the woman helpline on 181.”

SHO Harchand Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, and no case was yet registered.

First Published: Jul 30, 2017 09:13 IST