Bengaluru: Karnataka Police said on Saturday that it arrested a 46-year-old man and parents of a 14-year-old girl on charges of child marriage in Yelahanka New Town of Bengaluru. The police have now launched a hunt for the priest, who conducted the marriage.
The girl, a school dropout, has been sent to the custody of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and is presently kept in a government shelter for women in Wilson Garden of Bengaluru.
The accused who got ‘married’ to the girl is identified as N. Guruprasad, a landlord from Chikkabettahalli.
The parents of the girl are daily-wage laborers. Police explained that accused Guruprasad had lured the parents of the girl with money. The incident came to light when the girl broke down before a PG facility owner, where she came to work with her aunt.
The girl told him that she had been married to a 46-year-old man at a temple. The owner of the PG then informed the police.
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The Police said that Guruprasad’s wife had left him years ago and he had no children. After seeing the girl and the plight of her poor family, he approached the parents through an elderly woman.
He managed to convince the parents to marry their daughter to him for Rs 15,000.
Also Read | National Family Health Survey Shows Higher Obesity Among Women In South India, Tamil Nadu Tops ListThe parents told the police that they have three daughters and poverty forced them to marry their 14-year-old child off to the 46-year-old man.
The child marriage cases in Karnataka doubled in the past two years with the highest number of marriages being held in Hassan. In 2020-21, the state reported 296 child marriages case. In 2018-19, Karnataka reported 119 child marriages.