Police on Saturday foiled an attempt to marry off a 13-year-old girl to a 55-year-old man by raiding a marriage ceremony in Hasan Abdal district of Punjab province.
During the raid, police personnel arrested the teenage girl’s father and the groom from the spot. Raids were being conducted to arrest the marriage officiator as well, police sources confirmed.
According to police, the father, hailing from Mardan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was promised a five-marla plot by the groom in exchange for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The nikah ceremony had already taken place on February 11 while the teenage bride was scheduled to depart with the groom in Pind Mehri village on February 16, police said.
The police were alerted about the illegal marriage ceremony by the groom’s neighbours, after which a police team conducted a raid which resulted in the arrests of the teenage girl’s father and the groom. The girl was later sent to Darul Aman by the police under state custody.
Saddar Station House Officer (SHO) Tariq Mehmood said that the 55-year-old groom was working in Saudi Arabia since the past 20 years and had recently relocated to Pakistan. He was divorced by his wife six months ago, with whom he had two daughters, aged 12 and six.
Police had registered cases against the father, the groom and the absconding marriage officiator under the Child Marriage Restraint Act on behalf of the state, the SHO concluded.