However, local MLA Gongidi Sunitha rubbished claims that her husband Mahender Reddy threatened the officer.

TRS MLAs husband allegedly threatens govt officer for stopping child marriageScreenshot
news Controversy Monday, December 09, 2019 - 19:00

An official from the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) department in Telangana has alleged that a local MLA’s husband tried to obstruct her work after she prevented a child marriage ceremony from taking place. 

Alair ICDS project supervisor Surya Kala was informed of an impending child marriage after a ‘100’ phone call to the local police. Surya managed to intercept and halt the proceedings, and police brought family members of the girl to the police station for counseling in the presence of the ICDS official.

However, according to Surya, a person by the name of Mustafa, accompanied the family and intervened even as she was talking to them. “That person intervened even though he was not a relative. He created a scene and I asked him to leave the place. Soon after that, local MLA Gongidi Sunitha’s husband (Mahender Reddy) called me and gave me a warning,” she said. 

She continued, “He threatened me, asking why I was interferring in the child marriage incident. He asked why I couldn’t walk away silently and also asked what I thought of myself.” 

Surya also alleged that though she filed a complaint against Mahender Reddy, it was not taken seriously by police. She said that police had also not acted on the child marriage attempt that had occurred. 

Speaking to TNM, MLA Gongidi Sunitha Reddy rubbished allegations of threats to the official by her husband. She said, "[Surya Kala] behaved harshly and used abusive language to the people who accompanied the orphan girl, who will no longer be a minor in four months. Mahender Reddy called her and told her that she can do her duty without humiliating and using foul language. He tried to tell that there was a kind and decent way to interact with people. He didn’t threatened her."

She further added, "That doesn't even require explanation, it was not threatening. It's fine if she really wants to go by the rules, but that doesn't allow her shout and humiliate anyone publicly.”

Narsimha Reddy, ACP Yadadri division, told TNM that the relatives of a 17-year-old girl, who they had tried to marry off, had been served notices under CrPC 107, which refers to security for keeping the peace and is issued as a warning against further offences. Child marriage has been declared illegal in India under the provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006. 

When asked about Surya Kala’s complaint, he said, “We have received her complaints regarding alleged threats. As the contents are not cognisable, we will take further action as per the local court orders.” 

He added that police are also looking into a complaint filed against Surya by guardians of the teen girl, who alleged that the ICDS officer had abused her powers and humiliated them in public.