The frequent surfacing of contract marriage rackets has become a matter of concern for the people. What puzzles them is how the police fail to monitor the activities of brokers and qazis facilitating and solemnising these marriages.
According to NGO activists, many brokers are continuing their activities with the active support of few qazis for the last few years. A few are said to have resumed it soon after coming out on bail. It is the huge money received as commission that attracts them, informs Jameela Nishath, a woman activist. She blames the local police for turning a Nelson’s eye to the problem.
The broker network is spread from the oil rich Middle East to India. The brokers staying in foreign countries search for prospective clients and then contact their counterparts in Hyderabad to fix the marriage. It is poverty that drives most of the families to marry off their daughters in the hope of improving their financial condition. However, it is the brokers who have become richer and richer through the racket. It is said the brokers take away anywhere between 20 to 50 percent as their share. Sharing her experience Ms. Nishath says that when she informed about one such marriage to the police hardly any action was taken. “Nothing will change until the police put the brokers and qazis involved in these activities under surveillance,” she said.
A chain of brokers or facilitators is continuously working for the last many years and in a few cases the victims themselves have taken to fixing the marriages. In the recent case the Moghalpura police arrested Mumtaz Begum who allegedly facilitated the marriage of the Sudanese, Osama Karar Eltahir alias Osama Ibrahim, with a minor girl. According to the police, Mumtaz had facilitated the marriage of Ahmed Yahiya, another Sudan national sometime in January and a few more marriages that went unnoticed till the recent case came to light. It was not the first time she had been behind the bars. In 2005, Mumtaz was arrested by the Kalapather police after a 16-year-old girl complained of being forcefully married to a 55-year-old Arab national. In 2011, the police had arrested two Sudanese nationals along with two pimps, Zahra Begum and Ghousia Begum, for luring parents of poor minor Muslim girls into performing a marriage with foreigners.
S. Q. Masood, a social activist from old city says, “Not only the police, but also the community elders should intervene to stop it.”