Muscat: Three of the eight Omanis arrested in India in cases related to child brides have been released, according to officials.
The Omanis were arrested by the Indian Police Service officers in Hyderabad for allegedly travelling there to find and marry “underage girls.”
“Three Omanis have been released, and we hope that the others also will be released soon,” a source from the Omani consulate in Mumbai said from India.
DCP Satyanarayana, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Zone) of Indian Police, stated that the case was currently being heard at the Metropolitan Judicial Magistrate court in Hyderabad.
“We are ready to welcome all Omani nationals for tourism, education, business and health purposes. However, marrying girls below 18 is a crime in India. We need to convey this message to Omani nationals, who come here to get married. Omanis visiting India should also not fall prey to the schemes of illegal brokers who promise these underage marriages,” he stressed. In September 2017, eight Omanis were arrested in Hyderabad in India in “relation to minor marriages.”
Besides the eight Omanis, two Omani nationals were deported from India as “sufficient evidence was not available to book a criminal case” for marrying underage girls.
The Indian Police stated that investigations into the case had revealed that one of the deported man was blind and a chronic kidney patient undergoing dialysis thrice a week. “He was involved in at least 10 contract marriages. He once again came to Hyderabad under the cover of dialysis. Right now, no sufficient evidence is available to book him in a criminal case, as the previous victims are not coming forward to book a complaint against him. To prevent further exploitation, the police have decided to deport him to his country at once,” a statement by the Indian Police (which is available with Times of Oman) said.
Another person had came along with his father (who was arrested) for his marriage. “He is also being deported as sufficient evidence was not available to book him,” the statement added.
According to the police report, a qazi (Islamic legal scholar and judge) in India is believed to be the main accused in the child bride racket case.
The qazi was arrested in the past too for performing child marriages
with elderly foreign nationals and was suspended by the state minorities department. However, he got bail and a stay order against his suspension.
The police have also arrested four lodge owners and five marriage brokers in connection with the case.