Hyderabad, April 19 (IANS) An Oman national was Saturday arrested for allegedly marrying a minor girl in the old city of Hyderabad, police said.
Sheikh Abdul Rashid Masood was arrested after the police raided a lodge in the old city and rescued a 13-year-old girl from a poor Muslim family.
Six other people including two brokers and a 'qazi' (priest) were also arrested by the police. They were taken to Bhavaninagar police station, where they were being questioned.
The Oman national, aged around 50, allegedly paid money to the girl's parents, brokers and even the 'qazi' to perform the marriage. The family members of Gousuddin, the 'qazi', however claimed that he is innocent as the girl's age was shown as 19 in the documents given to him.
The parents of the girl were also unable to give a convincing reply to the police about whether the marriage was performed with their consent. Masood reportedly gave Rs.40,000 each to the two brokers to arrange the marriage.
Many cases of aged Arab nationals marrying young girls from poor families in the old city have come to light during the last few years. In 2012 the police had busted a racket involving a 'qazi' who had performed marriages of foreigners with girls from poverty-stricken families.
According to police, these foreigners use local brokers and even 'qazis' to entice the parents of the girls with money.