In a new development to the case of a 16-year-old girl from Hyderabad being married to an Omani sheikh, identified as Ahmed, the Hyderabad police have named the parents of the minor as accused.
It was the girl's mother, who had filed a complaint with the Falaknuma police, which had triggered off a massive investigation and busted a nexus of the 'child bride' racket.
The police's latest move comes after a few more photos from the 'nikah' surfaced, which showed the parents of the girl at the location, posing for the photograph.
This contradicts the mother's claims that the 'nikah' was done without their knowledge, when they were not present.
The marriage was performed in May at a guest house in Jalpally where the Omani national was staying. He returned home after the marriage and sent a visa for the girl, who later joined him in Muscat.
A few months later, her mother lodged a complaint at the Falaknuma police station that her husband, his sister, Ghousia Begum, and brother-in-law, Sikander, "sold" the girl to the Omani man for Rs 5 lakh.
Ghousia and Sikander have since been arrested by the Hyderabad police.
The mother also claimed that the girl informed her parents over the phone, that her husband was mentally and physically torturing her.
However, last week, the girl alleged that her parents were greedy for their share of the money, and filed the complaint due to that.
While the police have booked the parents, they have reportedly decided not to arrest them.
â€œDespite knowing about the consequences, the parents got the minor married to an aged person, that too by creating fake documents with the help of the now arrested Mumbai-based qazi to show her as major, and submitting the documents to the minorities department in Mumbai. However, while lodging the complaint, they feigned ignorance about the marriage. Since they fell out with the agents over dispute in sharing money , her parents approached the police with a request to rescue her,'' Hyderabad police sources told the Times of India.
At present, the minor girl has also expressed unwillingness to leave, which makes the police suspect that the Omani national is spoiling her with riches, and she doesn't want to return to poverty.
However, the police are not backing down, as the 'marriage' was still against Indian law.
The police said that they were still working on getting the girl back, and prosecuting the man.
Meanwhile, the city police opened history sheets against five qazis on Thursday, including Hyderabadâ€™s chief qazi Ali Abdullah Rifai, based on the cases registered against them in three different police stations.
The cops continued their crackdown on Arab sheikhs visiting the city in search of minor brides last week, by announcing the qazi Ali Abdullah Rifai's arrest, along with three more Omani nationals.
Two Omani nationals were also deported.
Earlier this month, the Hyderabad police rescued 12 underaged girls and busted a major racket with the arrest of 20 accused, including eight Arabsâ€”five Omanis and three Qataris.
Marriages of minor girls from poor Muslim families to elderly Arabs is not new in Hyderabad. The well-organised racket involves middlemen in Hyderabad and those based in Gulf countries, who lure poor families with the promise to pull them out of poverty.
The racket continued to thrive with the connivance of the â€˜qazisâ€™ who perform such marriages in violation of all rules.
As part of the crackdown, the police said that they have identified more than 35 brokers in Hyderabad alone.
Four lodge owners and five brokers and three Qazis were also arrested, including Chief Qazi of Mumbai, Farid Ahmed Khan, who was considered the kingpin.