A WhatsApp message sent by a neighbour to a Mumbai journalist stopped the marriage of a minor girl in Maharashtra. The Police interfered immediately and stopped the marriage of the girl — aged 17 years— in Harsul area of the city.
The Mumbai journalist forwarded the WhatsApp message to the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission Chairperson Vijaya Rahate.
“As it sounded serious, I contacted the Aurangabad Deputy Commissioner of Police-Zone II Rahul Shrirame around 9 am, requesting him to look into the matter urgently,” Rahate said.
“We went and met the families of the bride and the groom who were making last-minute preparations for the marriage scheduled at 11 am in a temple nearby,” he added.
As the guests continued their celebration, police interrogated two families and learned that the girl was indeed a minor and could not be married for at least another four months as per Indian law. The legal age to marry for women in India is 18.
The police said that the teen came from a very poor family, her mother had left her father who being paralysed for many years and unable to support the family, was dependent on relatives. A marriage proposal was received for the girl at a recent family wedding, which her uncle and others took the initiative and was finalized the wedding.
Shrirame and Rahate said that even though social networking sites have a lot of irrelevant contents circulating if used properly, it can act as a major medium in preventing such social anarchy.