A bride eloped with her boyfriend leaving the groom waiting in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, following which her 15-year-old younger sister was married off with the man.
The police rescued the girl from her in-laws’ house as child marriage is prohibited, a senior officer said on Thursday.
The drama started when the bride from Malpada village under the jurisdiction of Jaipatna Police Station eloped with her boyfriend on Tuesday evening, a few hours before her marriage with the 26-year-old groom, leaving her parents with no alternative but to convince the minor to marry him, the officer said.
The girl, who was preparing for her Class 10 examination, was rescued and handed over to her brother, Kalahandi district child protection officer Sukanti Behera said.
Neither the bride’s parents nor the groom’s family was aware of the fact that child marriage is illegal, she said.
The girl opted to stay in her parents’ house and to appear for the examination, the CDPO said.
“A counselling session was organised for both the families. No case was registered against them. They agreed not to solemnise the girl’s wedding before she attains the marriageable age of 18,” Ms Behera said.
Asked about the incident, the girl’s father claimed that he agreed to arrange her younger daughter’s wedding due to peer pressure, the officer added.