Hyderabad: An international child bride racket was busted in the city. Five Omani nationals, three Qataris, three Qazi (marriage registrar), five local brokers and four lodge owners were arrested. Of the Arabs arrested, five are Omani nationals and three Qatari.
The brokers play an important role, as they identify families who belong to economically poor background and convince them to marry their daughters to these sheikhs. External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj also responded on the issue and directed the Hyderabad police to bring the girl back.Twelve minors were freed from the clutches of sheikhs from the city late on Tuesday.
The crackdown followed a spate of child marriages in Old City and a tip-off from a reluctant 16-year-old girl, who was interviewed by a 50-year-old sheikh for marriage. This led police to four lodges in the city, which turned out to be den of human trafficking. An Omani sheikh was caught red-handed, while he was about to wed a teenage girl on Tuesday night. Five local middlemen and four hotel owners were also arrested.
The accused were identified as Al Mayahi Habib Ali Issa, Al Salhi Talib Humeid Ali, Al Ubaidani Juma Shinoon Sulaima, Al Salehi Nasser Khalifa Hamed and Al Qasimi Hassan Mazaaul Mohamed from Oman, Omer Mohammed Seraj Abdal Rahman, Hamad Jabir O Al-Kuwari and Safeldin Mohamed Mohamednour Salih from Qatar. Mumbai-based qazi Farid Ahmed Khan would charge Rs 70,000 for providing forged nikahnamas and other certificates to brokers.
The 63-year-old, Hyderabad police claimed, was the kingpin and played an important role in the international human trafficking racket.On interrogation, he confessed to have provided fake marriage certificates to clients from all over the country and charges money according to the sheikh’s profile.
Investigating the case of 16-year-old child bride Rukhsar, who was married to a 65year-old sheikh, police discovered that her marriage certificate was issued in Mumbai.