A 17-year-old girl from the Old City who was married off against her wishes to a 45-year-old Sudanese national for Rs 1 lakh escaped from the man’s clutches, and reported her plight to the police Friday. The bridegroom was arrested and is now cooling his heels in judicial remand. A woman who arranged the illegal transaction is at large.
According to the Moghalpura police, Osman Ibrahim, 45, an engineer with Nile Petroleum in Sudan, came to Hyderabad last month and approached one Mumtaz Begum, seeking to marry a young girl. The woman zeroed in on the family of a girl in Ishramahal locality in Moghalpura.
The parents of the minor girl were initially reluctant but Mumtaz won them over with a promise of Rs 1 lakh to be paid before the marriage, and more a year later when the girl is taken to Sudan.The family consented to the marriage but the minor girl protested. She was reportedly beaten a day before the marriage. She, however, sent an SMS to her friends narrating her plight.
Inspector P Vijay Kumar of the Moghulpura police said the marraige took place on Feb. 21 and the Rs 1 lakh was handed over to the family. Ibrahim allegedly created fake date-of-birth documents of the girl and approached a qazi to have the marriage registered. However, the qazi, sensing the reluctance of the bride, refused to issue a certificate, the inspector said.
Seizing a chance, the girl escaped her suitor, and approached cops, who took the Sudanese in. He has reportedly confessed to the police that he did pay Rs 1 lakh in cash to the girl’s parents and Rs 50,000 to Mumtaz.
Police are now hot on the heels of Mumtaz. She and Ibrahim face cases of forgery and violation of the Child Marriage Act.