The wedding of a 15-year-old girl with a 26-year-old man scheduled at Veeramangala, Narimogaru village in Puttur taluk on Sunday did not take place, government officials said.

Acting on a tip off, officials of the Child Development Project, Puttur, which functions under the Department of Women and Child Welfare alerted Puttur Circle Inspector Sudarhsan on the marriage scheduled at Veeramangala. Mr. Sudarshan sent police personnel to the venue to inquire into it.

According to Shanti Hegde, Assistant Child Development Project Officer (CDPO), Puttur, the girl, a resident of Thannirpantha village in Belthangady taluk was supposed to be married to Hamza at a mosque near his house in the village on Sunday morning.

However, when the police and CDPO officials reached the prospective groom's house, the bride's family was not there and only Mr. Hamza and his family were found.

Ms. Hegde told The Hindu that at Mr. Hamza's house she (Ms. Hegde) took an undertaking from Mr. Hamza that he would not marry a minor and got his parents also to sign the document. The CDPO of Belthangady had been apprised of the case and that it was up to them to find out the circumstances under which the girl's parents had arranged the marriage, she added. She said that only the police could register a case.

Sub-Inspector of the Women's Police Station (Puttur Town) Archana H.K. told The Hindu that Mr. Hamza's family claimed that the marriage had been called off on Saturday night by the girl's father. Mr. Hamza's family also claimed that they did not know that the girl was a minor. Ms. Archana added that a case could be registered under the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 against the girl's parents but not against the boy as he was not aware that the girl was a minor.

Keywords: Child marriage

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