(MENAFN - NewsBytes)
International child bride ring busted in Hyderabad, 12 minors rescued
21 Sep 2017
An international child bride racket has been busted in Hyderabad, City of Nizams. Twenty people including Omani sheikhs and qazis have been arrested.
Twelve minors were freed from the clutches of various sheikhs in the city on the night of September 19.
The matter came to light when a 16-year-old, interviewed by a 50-year-old sheikh for marriage, tipped off police.
How did the racket come to light?
Police investigated the case of 16-year-old Rukhsar, married to a 65-year-old sheikh. They found that she had been married in Hyderabad, but the marriage NOC certificate was issued in Mumbai.
This was unusual: generally, the state's minority department where the marriage was performed issues the certificate.
In Mumbai, Hyderabad Police worked with their Maharashtra counterparts and discovered the role of chief qazi Farid Ahmed Khan.
Who all are involved?
Khan was found to be allegedly brokering illegal marriage contracts and forging nikahnamas. After arrest, the kingpin of the racket confessed to having served clients across the country.
In Hyderabad, cops raided four lodges which turned out to be dens of human trafficking. An Omani sheikh, five local middlemen and four hotel owners were also arrested.
However, Khan's kin claims he isn't guilty.
Human trafficking has grown steeply in India in recent years
In 2015, the NCRB noted trafficking of minors had increased 14 times in the last decade. Just last year, almost 20,000 women and children became victims, a rise of nearly 25% from 2015, the government said. The actual figure is suspected to be much higher.