Namakkal: A Class VII student’s parents were arrested for marrying off the minor girl after the actual bride, the girl’s sister, reportedly ran away to be with her lover the night before the wedding. The couple and the bridegroom who was also arrested, were booked under the Prohibition of Child Marriages Act. P Vellaiponni (18) was to tie the knot with C Mariappan (21) at the Mariamman temple in Muthukalipatti on Wednesday, sources said. However, that morning, the bride could not be found. Later, it came to light that the bride eloped with her lover.
In an unexpected turn of events, the runaway bride’s parents offered to conduct the marriage as planned, with her 15-year-old sister taking her place. The minor girl was subsequently married off. However, a team of officials led by Rasipuram Tahsildar P Selvakumar swooped down on the house after they got a tip-off about the minor marriage. “We get a call from an unknown villager. On inquiry, we found that the 15-year-old girl was married off. So we lodged a police complaint,” Selvakumar told Express.
Based on the complaint, Rasipuram police registered a case against Ponnan and Selvi, the girl’s parents, and Mariappan, the bridegroom, under Sections 9 and 11 of the Prohibition of Child Marriages Act. They were remanded in judicial custody. “I wanted to study further, but my parents forced me to marry at the last minute,” said the Class VII student.
A Class VII girl's parents were arrested for marrying off the minor after the actual bride, her sister, ran away.
In yet another twist to the incident, the runaway bride returned home after she failed to meet her lover. On Thursday, based on instructions from Collector J Kumaragurubharan, DEEO T Arulmozhidevi held inquiries with the minor girl, a student of the panchayat union middle school. “I took her to the school and advised her parents and relatives not to stop her from attending school,” the DEEO said. But, she dropped out of school two years ago.