Karnataka: Brother stops marriage of 16-year-old girl | Hubballi News – Times of India

BELAGAVI: An older brother stopped his 16-year-old sister from being forced into a child marriage in Konnuru village of Gokak taluk on Friday evening. Raju Megannavar, 21, averted his sister’s marriage to his aunt Shevakka Modagi’s son. Raju’s parents are vegetable vendors and were struggling to earn a living after the lockdown.
Raju’s aunt offered to help the family, saying she would ensure the girl’s education till PUC and later organise her marriage to her son. The family agreed to send the girl to her aunt’s home in Konnuru village. For two months, she had been staying there. Fifteen days ago, Raju’s parents went to Sherabad village in Rayabag taluk, leaving him alone at home in Ghataprabha.
Sensing an opportunity, Shevakka Modagi tried to organise the marriage of the girl with her son, 24, on the pretext of Kartika Habba at home on Friday.
When the girl’s parents heard about it, they asked Raju to stop the marriage. Raju rushed to his aunt’s house. “When I went to my aunt’s house, I realised it was not a Kartika festival but my sister’s marriage. I called up the local police station,” Raju said.
After the tip-off, police and women welfare officers rushed to the house. Sensing trouble, the girl was whisked away by her aunt’s family. Shevakka told police: “We don’t know the girl’s whereabouts; she may have gone to her friend’s house. We are celebrating Kartika Habba.”
After questioning Shevakka, police and women and child welfare officer took a written undertaking from the family that they wouldn’t arrange the girl’s marriage before she becomes a major. SR Gudumaale, local women’s welfare officer, said: “We saw through the aunt’s scheming ways. Police told her to produce the girl within 24 hours.”
Raju filed a case against his aunt at Gokak Rural police station, claiming she had kidnapped his sister.
He said: “Once she comes home, women welfare officers will take her to the child rescue centre where she’ll stay for three years.” A police officer said: “We’ll take action if we find anyone guilty in this incident.”

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Sagar Biswas

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