Andhra Pradesh

Teens ‘marry’ in classroom in Andhra Pradesh, officials say it is void

A minor boy ties the ‘mangalsutra’ at a classroom in Rajamahendravaram of Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district. Photo: Special Arrangement  

A “child marriage” performed in a classroom of a junior college in Rajamahendravaram in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh has come to light, and the police have registered a case under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.

The event came to light after a video of the ceremony was widely shared on social media groups.

Officials said the marriage was null and void, and the boy and girl involved were counselled.

Police were investigating who performed the “marriage” of the minors in the classroom.

The teen “bride” and the “bridegroom”, studying at the Intermediate level are classmates, said Andhra Pradesh Mahila Commission Chairperson Vasireddy Padma.

The Commission would provide shelter to the minor girl, she said.

The teenager, about 17 years old, brought a “mangalsutra” along with him and tied it to the girl in the classroom. Later, he applied vermilion (sindoor) to the girl and the couple took photographs.

Another minor girl reportedly made a video of what happened and shared the footage with her friends.

After coming to know of the incident, the management of the junior college removed the names of the students from the rolls and gave them transfer certificates.

“The girl’s parents refused to allow her to return home. She was shifted to a One Stop Centre for counselling. Mahila Commission members spoke to the boy’s parents also and counselled them,” Ms. Padma said on Saturday.

Case filed

Meanwhile, the Rajamahendravaram Two Town police registered a case and took up investigation.

“We will record the statements of the two minors, their family members and the college management. The police will explain the consequences of child marriage to everyone concerned,” said a police officer.

“The marriage of minors in a classroom highlights the poor knowledge of law among students. The Mahila Commission is conducting awareness programmes in colleges and universities against child marriages, and on the POCSO Act and the Right to Education Act,” said Mahila Commission Director R. Suez.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 12:14:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-mahila-commission-to-provide-shelter-to-minor-bride-who-was-married-in-classroom/article33257226.ece

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