Minor girl in Odisha protests against forced marriage (India)

Posted on July 24, 2012

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A “minor” girl in Odisha has lodged a police complaint against her family for forcing her to marry and not allowing her to study, police said Tuesday. The police have registered a case against nine persons of the family, including her father.

The incident took place at Kuhurakot village in Nabrangpur district, about 700 km from here.

The 16-year-old girl’s family allegedly fixed her marriage recently after she was unsuccessful in the Class 10 examination. The family performed an engagement ceremony despite her protest, police officer Sarbeswar Behera told IANS. The police are yet to verify the exact age of the girl.

The girl, who has been living in her maternal uncle’s house after the incident, managed to lodge a complaint at the local Jharigaon police station July 20. The police have registered a case against nine members of the family, including her father Phagunu Panaka, said Behera.

According to law, the marriage-age for a man and woman are 21 and 18 years, respectively. Although child marriages have been declared illegal, the practice continues to flourish.

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