New Delhi: Contract marriages are on the rise in Hyderabad, claimed women's rights groups as a teenager blew the lid off India's underground culture of Islamic sex tourism involving men who paid for 'wives' for four weeks, according to a report in the daily 'Telegraph'.
The paper claimed that minor escaped after her parents pressurised her to consummate a forced marriage to a middle aged Sudanese man who had paid around £1,200 for her to be his 'wife' for four weeks.
In Hyderabad wealthy foreigners, local agents and 'Qazis' - government-appointed Muslim priests - are exploiting poverty among the city's Muslim families, the Telegraph said.
The paper quoted her as telling the police that she had been taken by her aunt to a hotel where she and three other teenage girls were introduced to a Sudanese oil company executive. "The 'groom', Usama Ibrahim Mohammed, 44 and married with two children in Khartoum, later arrived at her home where a Qazi performed a wedding ceremony," the report stated.
Police inspector Vijay Kumar was quoted as saying by the paper that the executive had paid Rs 100,000 to the girl's aunt Mumtaz Begum, who in turn paid Rs 70,000 to her parents, Rs 5,000 to the Qazi, Rs 5,000 to an Urdu translator and kept Rs 20,000 herself. The wedding certificate came with a 'Talaknama' which fixed the terms of the divorce at the end of the groom's holiday, the report said.
"The next day he came to the house of the victim girl and asked her to participate in sex but she refused. She is a young girl and the groom is older than her father," Kumar told The Telegraph.
The minor girl ran out of their tiny one room home in Moghulpuri neighbourhood and was rescued by a police patrol. The police arrested the groom, the victim's aunt and the Qazi, and issued a warrant for her parents' arrest.