An Omani national, Al-Madasari Rashed Masaaod Rashid (61), was arrested by the city police for marrying two minor girls. Eleven others, including two qazis, a few brokers and parents of the girls, were also held for their involvement, while three other brokers who facilitated the marriage are absconding.

The issue came to light on Friday after a 14-year-old girl from Talabkatta whose marriage was performed 20 days ago with Rashid escaped from his flat in Banjara Hills and approached the police. “At the time of the marriage, Rashid paid Rs. 60,000 to the mother of the victim, Rabia Begum, and took the girl along with him to his flat. The girl was unwilling to stay with him and escaped,” said Sarvashresth Tripathi, DCP (South), at a press conference on Saturday.

Acting on the girl’s complaint the Bhavaninagar police raided the flat of Rashid on Friday. However, the police found that Rashid had married another minor girl from Hassannagar after the first girl escaped. The parents of the second girl were paid Rs. 80,000 at the time of the marriage four days ago. “Rashid sexually exploited the second victim for three days,” Mr. Tripathi said.

Two different cases under various sections of IPC, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 and Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation Act 2012, were registered against them.