Villagers get teens married in Ranchi : Welfare commission has ordered inquiry

Ranchi : A 17-year-old boy in a village in Lohardaga district was on Friday made to marry a minor girl in the same village on the orders of the panchayat apparently because the two would talk to each other on phone for “long durations”.

The boy, an intermediate student and a native of Simdega district, stays with his paternal uncle and aunt in the village. The minor girl (13) is a student of Class VIII. According to the villagers, both were friends and used to talk over phone calls for long durations. This resulted in disputes between the two families on several occasions.

After another such dispute on May 30, the village residents held a panchayat meeting, where it was decided to get them married. As both the families consented, the marriage ceremony was held the next day. The minor girl has moved to her husband’s house, and both families are happy with the marriage, village residents said.

Raj Kumar Verma, chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee at Lohardaga, said they had taken cognisance of the matter. “Enquiries are being conducted. We have informed the Child Development Project Officer. The village mukhiya has been issued a notice and his reply is awaited. An FIR would be registered after verifying the details,” he said.

Akanksha Ranjan, deputy commissioner, Lohardaga, said that requisite action would be taken in the matter after ascertaining the details.

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