UP Police rescue minor after ‘marriage’ in temple

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UP Police rescue minor after ‘marriage’ in temple
Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh): The Bareilly police have rescued a minor girl who had eloped and got married according to Hindu rituals in a temple with the support of a priest and a group of right-wing activists.

The police found that the girl is a minor and 16 years old as per her academic records. Her ‘husband’ belongs to another faith.

She was produced before a local court on Monday where the girl insisted that she was 21 years old. She also refused to undergo a medical examination.

She told the court that she wants to live with her ‘husband’ and does not want to go back to her mother.

Later, the court sent her to a women’s shelter in Bareilly till further orders.

Her ‘husband’ is, however, absconding.

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Party leader Taufeeq Pradhan said that the girl’s mother had approached him and they went to the police that verified the academic records of the girl to ascertain her age.

Taufeeq Pradhan told reporters, “We verified the girl’s real age and the police have rescued her. She is a minor and does not understand the primary motive behind this ‘marriage’.”

Meanwhile, Rajeev Singh, station house officer (SHO) of the Cantt police station, said, “The girl’s mother had registered an FIR under sections of abduction and we have rescued her.”

He said that the minor was in a relationship with a man from her village and had eloped with him on January 13. They then got married in a temple in Bareilly the same day.

The priest, who is a leader of Hindu Samaj Party, and other members of a right-wing group ‘helped’ the couple get married.

Videos of the wedding along with the statement of the girl were widely shared on social media after the rituals were done.

The SHO said, “Police cannot press any criminal charges against the priest as the girl has not given any statement against him. If it is revealed during investigation that he and the others helped in the abduction of the girl, then we will take appropriate action.”

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