Tiruchirapalli: The Trichy police stopped the marriage of a 9-year-old girl to a 39-year-old man in a village near Musiri on Thursday.
The cops were tipped off by an anonymous caller who rang up the all-womens-police station in Musiri and said that they had received information about talks going on to engage a standard 4 student to a man who is 30 years older, according to a Times of India report.
The girl was immediately handed over to the Child Welfare Committee from her widowed mother who is an agricultural labourer, according to the report. The CWC after an inquiry, confirmed the news about the child marriage arrangements that had been going on and further stated that the girl is being kept under their care.
“Preliminary reports showed that there was a proposal for the marriage. The girl is being kept under our care. We are awaiting reports in this regard after which we will decide on her future,” chairperson of CWC Trichy, S Indira told TOI.
Further inquiry about the issue with the the villagers revealed that it was a common practice to fix the marriage between a minor girl and an adult who was a blood relation and the actual marriage would take place only once the girl attained puberty. This practice was done to promise the girl to the boy and seal the relationship.
However, the officials expressed shock at the news and confirmed that child marriages at this age was rare. “The proposal for child marriage to a girl at such a tender age is very rare in Trichy,” aid district social welfare officer (DSWO) S Usha told TOI.
This is one among the many instances in the state, infamous for the number of child marriages. However, the watchful police have been effective in tracking down these cases and rescuing the minors.
Statistics by the Tamil Nadu government revealed that 1586 child marriages were prevented in the state from January to November 2017.