A 15-year-old girl, who was allegedly forcefully married to a 50-year-old man in Kashmir Valley, escaped from confinement and recently made her way back home to Mathurapur in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, the New Indian Express reported.
However, on return, her father allegedly refused to accept her and asked the victim to return back to her in-laws in Kashmir.
Rahima (name changed) then approached her former school headmaster and submitted him a written complaint who mailed the same to the Mathurapur police station and to the Block Development Office on Wednesday evening, the report said.
In the complaint, Rahima alleged that her father Peer Mohammad Gayen took their entire family to Kashmir on 3 January on the pretext of a tour and then married Rahima and her elder sister to two Kashmiri men.
Rahima claimed that she was subjected to physical and sexual abuse and was confined to the house of 50-year-old Belal Ahmed Shiru. He was already married to two other women and had children.
However, Rahima stated that her brother-in-law Yousuf had helped her with tickets to Howrah from Jammu Tawi and helped her escape from the valley. She traveled alone over the next three days to reach home.
After being denounced by her parents, the girl had pled her former school Krishnachandrapur High School to let her stay in the girls’ hostel. School headmaster Chandan Kumar Maity said they fear that the girl might have been sold off to the Kashmiri man due to abject poverty.
Apart from topping the national list in child and human trafficking, West Bengal districts South 24 Parganas, Malda, Murshidabad, Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar also witness rampant marriage of underage women to older men in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.