CUDDALORE: Alleging that police were using Prohibition of Child Marriage Act to interrogate and examine children in violation of guidelines issued by the Supreme Court and Child Welfare Committee, two dikshithars of Chidambaram Nataraja Temple and their wives sent petitions to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
S Eshwara Dikshithar said, in February 2022, a few dikshithars, who left from our group, gave a list of child marriages said to have taken place in January 2021 to Social Welfare Officer and an organisation called Makkal Athigaram. They gave the list to police, which registered three cases under Prevention of Child Marriage Act and arrested a few dikshithars.
“Daughters of the arrested dikshithars were subjected to extreme medical tests and clinical examinations in the name of investigation, which is against the guidelines laid down by Supreme Court, the Madras High Court and Child Welfare Committee.”The minor girls were forced to confess under illegal custody and the parents were arrested.
He alleged that police coerced parents of the girls to give non-existent wedding photos and detained them in police station till midnight. He said weddings had not been organised for his son and daughter and that they planned marriages for them only after they turned 21 and 18 respectively. In another petition, S Thangaganesa Dikshithar alleged that the minor girls were unnecessarily subjected to physical examinations.