Travel brides: Saudi shleps to India for underage orphan bride, dumps after honeymoon
In yet another case of forcing a minor Muslim girl into wedlock with Arab nationals in Kerala, a 17-year-old girl has approached the Child Welfare Committee alleging that the orphanage authorities, where she had been staying, forced her to marry a man from Saudi Arabia.
In her complaint to the committee on Friday, the girl had alleged that the orphanage authorities "pressurised" her to marry the man, who deserted her after honeymooning for 17 days and returned to his country.
The Child Welfare Committee chairman in Malappuram, Sherrief Ullath, said according to the girl the marriage took place on June 13.
The orphanage authorities forced her to marry the Saudi national against her wishes.
The Child Welfare Committee authorities said they have forwarded the girl's complaint to the police, who has registered cases under Prohibition of Child Marriage Act-2006, the Juvenile Justice Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Meanwhile, the secretary of the orphanage, PP Mohammed Ali, denied the allegations by the girl and claimed that the marriage was solemnised with the consent of both the families, for which he has the records.
The girl has been staying in the orphanage for the last 13 years after her father abandoned the family, Ali said.
Many such cases have been reported in the state in the past also.