June 6, 2017
Child Welfare Committee members rescued a 14-year-old girl, who was forced to marry a 23-year-old man, at Perur on Monday.
According to sources, Thilaka, a construction worker and a single mother, feared that her daughter would fall in love with someone if she were not married off.
A resident of Sunambu Kalavai near Athupalam, Thilaka had arranged her daughter’s wedding with a Karthik Kumar (23), a painter through a marriage broker Dhanalakshmi. (Thilaka had similarly married off her elder daughter at a very young age. CWC officials stopped the wedding at the right moment and police arrested Thilaka, who after her release took her daughter out of the CWC home and got her married again at an undisclosed location.)
Thilaka, it is learnt, had told the groom’s side that the girl was 18 years old. Though the wedding was fixed for June 7, Thilaka, fearing police action, advanced the wedding to June 5.
When the news of child marriage reached Childline, it was pretty late and when they arrived at Patteeswara temple at Perur, the wedding had already taken place.
“We got information about the marriage. But we had difficulty in locating the venue. The person who informed us later gave us the invitation card after which we rushed to the venue where the reception was taking place. We rescued the girl,” I. Angeline, a senior CWC official, said.
She said both the groom and his mother Panneer Selvi said they were misled by the broker about the girl’s age.
A case has been filed against Thilaka, Dhanalakshmi, Karthik and Panneer Selvi.