NCW looking into minor girls being married to aged Arabs
Hyderabad: The National Commission for Women (NCW) is looking into alleged marriages of minor girls in Hyderabad to senior citizens from West Asia and other countries.
Telangana women's commission chairperson Tripurana Venkata Ratnam on Tuesday said the NCW had formed a formal inquiry committee for this.
"The committee will inquire into issues of minor Muslim girls marrying Arab sheikhs," Ratnam told reporters here.
Ratnam and NCW member Alok Rawat, who is probing the matter, held meetings here with state government officials, police and others.
Rawat said the Prime Minister's Office had expressed concern over the issue.
"It wanted a team to immediately visit Hyderabad and find out the facts," he said.
The PMO wanted it to see what "possible steps could be taken so that such incidents are minimised, if not eliminated", Rawat said.
Minor girls were being married off in other parts of the country, too, he said.
"Child marriages are bad irrespective of where they take place and irrespective of any religious connotations," he said.
Indian nationals involved in the marriages of minor girls to senior citizens from foreign countries would be dealt with under the laws of the land, he added.
Procedural aspects involving travel abroad in the case of such marriages needed to be tightened and awareness increased to prevent such unions, he said.
Ratnam claimed minors married to foreigners were not taken abroad as wives.
"They are not taking these minority girls after marriage as a wife. They are taking them as women labour," she said.
The government needed to check irregularities allegedly involving 'qazis', Ratnam said, adding that the inquiry report could be prepared within a week.
Replying to a query, she said a complaint had been lodged by the mother of a victim in Hyderabad.
A police probe into the case revealed the alleged role of 30 middlemen and women and of a 'qazi', she added.