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Minor married off to widower rescued in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: Khordha District Child Welfare Committee (CWC) officials and police today rescued a 16-year-old minor girl from Naput village under Tamando police limits on the outskirts of Odisha capital, who was allegedly married off to a man nearly two and half times her age much against her wishes.

The minor girl was rescued after the matter came to the notice of the CWC seven days after her marriage to Shankar of Naput village, a widower, who is a farmer.

While police have detained Shankar, the CWC has taken custody of the rescued minor girl.

According to reports, Shankar, who is a widower and has two children from his previous marriage has married the minor much against her wishes.  The minor girl who comes from a very poor family had yielded to marry a person nearly two and half times her age bowing to pressure from her parents. The minor was married off to Shankar keeping a tulsi plant as a witness in presence of villagers.

“I had been to her home and her parents agreed to get her married to me. They had also visited our house. They selected me as the groom for their daughter and then the marriage was solemnized. My first wife died due to jaundice despite spending a large amount to save her,” said Shankar, the husband of the minor girl.

“First we were given permission by Khordha CWC to conduct an inquiry and rescue the minor girl. Accordingly, we submitted the letter issued to us by the CWC at Tamando police station. Tamando police extended full cooperation in rescuing the child,” stated Pratima Satpathy, member Childline.