DADU: A man gave his five-year-old daughter in marriage to a teenage boy in lieu of the wager he had lost to him in a game of gambling at Khandhani village near Tando Rahim Khan town in Johi taluka, 55 kilometres from here, on Friday evening.
Police, however, foiled the underage marriage by arresting the Nikah khwan Molvi Karim Bux, bride Shabeeran’s father, Shahid Ali Shahani, and 15-year-old groom Bahadur Ali Shahani, and took into protective custody the little girl.
Dadu SSP Shabbir Ahmed Sethar told journalists that Shahid Ali was a chronic gambler who lost Rs40,000 wager to Bahadur Ali in a gambling game and could not pay up that much money so he decided to give his daughter in marriage in lieu of the wager lost.
He said that a team of district police raided Shahid Ali’s house after they received information about the underage marriage. The groom initially managed to escape and police detained the Nikah khwan, the girl’s father and three other persons, he said, adding the groom was later nabbed by Tando Rahim Khan police.
Tando Rahim Khan SHO Nazeer Mallah said that police had lodged an FIR against the girl’s father and Nikah khwan and said that both the bride and the groom were relatives. The groom was later released due to his minor age, he said.
An activist of Child Rights Committee Niaz Ali Chandio said that police should not have released the groom and demanded that all gambling dens be closed down.