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40-Year-Old Man Arrested in Bihar for 'Forcefully' Marrying 11-Year-Old Girl

As per her mother's complaint, Pandey coerced her daughter into marrying him because she could not pay off a loan.

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A 40-year-old man, identified as a Mahendra Pandey, has been arrested for allegedly forcefully marrying a 11-year-old girl in Bihar's Siwan, the police said on Sunday, 30 May.

According to a complaint by the girl's mother, Pandey coerced her daughter into marrying him because she could not pay off the money he had loaned her.

The Quint is trying to access a copy of the mother's complaint, and this story will be updated once we receive it.

Pandey has been arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act by Mairwa Police, agencies quoted Siwan Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Sinha as saying. He added that the girl has been sent for medical examination.

Reports also claim that Pandey was married to another woman before he forcefully married the 11-year-old.

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However, in an interview given to a local news channel Prashant News (as per the mic he's holding), the accused claimed that the mother's allegations were "false" and a part of a "trap set to extort him."

He further claimed in the interview – visuals of which have gone viral on social media – that he got married to the girl with her and her mother's consent.

"Now, the girl's mother is blackmailing me. She started demanding money. There is no kind of money transaction between us. I am trapped. Some media persons are spreading false news," he alleged.

The interviewer also spoke to the girl (without blurring her face as per POCSO guidelines), albeit in an interrogative manner, on whether there was any truth to his claims. The Quint will, therefore, not be showing visuals of the interview.
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Outrage on Social Media

The incident, meanwhile, has triggered a furore on social media. Many on Twitter called out the man for his "shocking act."

One user wrote: "A 40 yr old man forced a poor family to marry off their 11 yr old daughter with him because the family couldn't pay off the money he loaned to them [sic]."

As per her mother's complaint, Pandey coerced her daughter into marrying him because she could not pay off a loan.
As per her mother's complaint, Pandey coerced her daughter into marrying him because she could not pay off a loan.

Another user tweeted: "This isn't just kidnapping or child marriage or POCSO though. Buying a human being, which is basically what this is, is human trafficking."

As per her mother's complaint, Pandey coerced her daughter into marrying him because she could not pay off a loan.

A Twitter user also pointed out that the reporter who interviewed the girl should have been more sensitive while speaking to her.

"Notwithstanding the undeniable wrong done to the little girl and the definite crime of child marriage + bullying the parents over an unpaid loan: a reporter is supposed to REPORT the news. Not dictate his personal opinions on television. Or browbeat the interviewees," the user tweeted.

As per her mother's complaint, Pandey coerced her daughter into marrying him because she could not pay off a loan.

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Topics:  Bihar   child marriage    pocso act 

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