M A I N   N E W S

Bride bazaar flourishes in Hyderabad
Suresh Dharur/TNS

Hyderabad, July 3
A “bride bazaar” is thriving on a well-oiled network of unscrupulous qazis (priests) and agents who exploit the poverty and illiteracy of Muslim families and push young girls into a life of hell.

The unearthing of a contract-marriage racket in the old city area of Hyderabad recently, involving foreigners buying young brides for sexual exploitation, has come as a grim reminder of a flourishing trade through sham marriages.

The police busted the racket and arrested six persons, including two qazis, two Sudanese students and two women brokers. The modus operandi of the operators has exposed chinks in the monitoring set-up of the government agencies and the state Wakf Board.

The agents used to identify minor girls from poor families of old city, lured them with money and promise of a prosperous life in a faraway land and sold them off to foreigners with the help of qazis who “performed” marriage using fabricated documents. At the end of it, it was the minor girls from poor families who became victims of exploitation.

In the recent case, a 25-year-old Sudan national Mohammed Ansari, who is on a student visa, “married” a 16-year-old girl by paying Rs 50,000 to brokers. The girl’s mother is a poor widow with five daughters and hardly any source of income.

After suffering two weeks of sexual abuse by her “husband” and also his friend, another Sudanese student, the young bride managed to run away and sought police protection.

At least seven more such incidents were reported in old city in recent past involving Sudanese and Somalians, suggesting existence of a contract-marriage racket, exploiting poor Muslim women, Deputy Commissioner of Police Vineet Brijlal said. Many cases went unreported, he added.

Investigation revealed that the young bride was made to sign a blank piece of paper that was intended to be later used as a “khulanama” or a declaration of divorce. With this, she would not be entitled to alimony or other rights. The foreigner bridegrooms would leave after the expiry of their student visa.

“After arriving here on student visas, these Sudanese nationals trap poor girls into marriage, use them, and when they leave, they already have a divorce paper ready in hand, so they can go scot free,” the police official said.

The police has registered a case of rape, abduction of minor for marriage, outraging modesty and also a case under the Immoral Trafficking Act. Muslim intellectuals have suggested a series of measures to prevent exploitation of girls in the name of marriages.

“The Wakf Board should be given more powers. The archaic qazi Act should be replaced by a comprehensive act that takes into account the changing needs of the Muslims. A sustained effort must be made to promote education, vocational training and employment of the girl child,” senior analyst Mir Ayoob Ali Khan said.

agents on the prowl

  • Agents identify minor girls from poor families
  • Lure them with money and promise of a prosperous life
  • “Marry” (sell) them off to foreigners with the help of qazis
  • On most occasions, the young “bride” is made to sign a blank paper
  • The paper is later used as a “khulanama” or a declaration of divorce
  • This debars her from any alimony and other rights
  • The foreigner “bridegroom” leaves after the expiry of his student visa





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |