Rajasthan girl seeks annulment of her child marriage

A 20-year-old girl has sought protection by the Rajasthan authorities from members of a village community council who, she says, are threatening her with serious consequences if she did not accept her childhood marriage, officials said Monday.

She also requested the district administration officials to annul her marriage that was solemnised when she was a mere five-year old, they added.

The girl, Rekha Kumari, is a resident of Peepar city area of the district, some 330 km from state capital Jaipur.

"She filed an application before the local sub-divisional officer Sunday, requesting security from a village community council or panchayat. She says that they were threatening to expel her from the locality, which means she and her family members would not be able to mingle with other villagers. It also warned of slapping huge cash fines on her and her family members if she did not accept the marriage," a senior district administration officer told IANS.

The officer said that Rekha is doing graduation from a government college in Peepar city. She was married with the consent of her grandfather when she was only five years old. Rekha was staying with her family members in keeping with the tradition as her 'gauna' - move from the paternal house to the in-laws - had not been performed.

"After the death of her grandfather recently, her so-called in-laws started pressuring the girl to start living with them which she refused as the boy she was married to is hardly literate," said the officer. He added that the in-laws then approached the village panchayat members who started threatening the girl.

"We have assured Rekha of adequate security for her and her family members and urged her to stay firm on her decision. We would lodge a police case against the members of the village panchayat if she gets further threats," said the officer.

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