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Forced into child marriage and sold, a 12 year Mumbai girl was confined and allegedly raped in Mapusa, between November 2018 to April 2019. Though child marriages are rare among Goans, statistics reveal that several migrants still continue to force their girl child into marriage.

In a recent report in the Navhind Times, in the month of April, a young 12-year-old Mumbai girl who was found at Mapusa bus stand was rescued and sent to a Chembur child home, from Apna Ghar where she was initially lodged. The girl is a resident of Mumbai.

Upon police investigations and counseling sessions at Chembur child home, it was revealed that the girl in her statement disclosed that she was allegedly sold by her maternal uncle to 18-year old Mumbai resident Parsha Kale who then forced her to marry him. He then brought her to Goa and confined her to a place in Mapusa where he raped her on several occasions from the period November 2018 to April 2019.

Following the girl’s statement, a Zero FIR was registered by Mumbai police and the same forwarded to Mapusa police for further action. The Goa police team had arrested Kale from Osmanabad, Maharashtra and brought him to Goa.

The Mapusa police have registered an offense under Section 376(2) (i) (N) 34 of Indian Penal Code, Section 8 of Goa Children’s Act, Section 6 of POCSO Act and Section 11 of Child Marriage Restraint Act against Kale. The girl’s uncle has also been booked.

Cases like these, it would seem, are more rampant among the migrants staying in Goa especially those hailing from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. However, many such cases have been taking place, but with the connivance of the families in temples. 

According to a Times of India report, in 2002, the Children’s Rights Goa succeeded in stopping a 34-year-old man from marrying a 16-year-old girl. He was later arrested.    According to statistics, 2.5% of the girls were married before they turned 18 and around 23% of women had their first child between the ages of 15 to 19.   

According to the law, the minimum legal age for marriage in India is 21 years for boys and 18 years for girls.  The Goa Children’s Act 2003, defines a child as a person below 18 years of age.

Source: NT | TOI

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