Orphans have no religion, say govt officials

Orphans have no religion, say govt officials

The alleged marriage of girls having Muslim names with Hindu boys at a government-sponsored mass wedding set off an uproar by Muslim clerics, who demanded a probe and threatened legal action.

District officials came up with a ready alibi that the brides were orphans from shelter homes and had no religion. 

According to sources, as many as 31 orphan girls from shelter homes tied the nuptial knot at a mass marriage organised by the state women's welfare department recently.

The district administration had invited proposals from eligible bachelors and shortlisted 31 grooms, all Hindus, after holding a test and interview.

The weddings were solemnised at a Kalyan Mantap here in the presence of senior officials from the district welfare department.

It later turned out that around four girls, who had Muslim names, had married Hindu boys.

While the district officials claimed that the girls were told about their prospective grooms, the girls said they were not told the religion of the boys they married.

'Orphans, no religion'

''All the girls, who got married at the mass wedding ceremony, were orphans....they had been living in shelter homes since they were four or five years of age....they had no religion,'' said a senior district official in an attempt to wriggle out of the controversy.

Muslim clerics, however, slammed the weddings and demanded a probe. ''It is not legal....a thorough probe must be conducted ...the girls should have been told about the religion of their grooms before the marriage,'' said a senior Muslim cleric here.

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