Kolkata, Dec 13: A man was arrested Friday in West Bengal’s Malda district for allegedly pawning and losing his pre-teen daughter in a gambling session and then formalising plans to marry the minor off to the winner.
The district’s child welfare committee, under the social welfare department, filed a First Information Report against Parimal Mondal earlier in the day at the Habibpur police station, said the panel chairman Hassan Ali Shah. Habibpur in 352 kms north of Kolkata.
“We have ordered that the girl be brought to our home as she is not safe with her father. We have also informed senior police and administrative officers in the district,” Shah told IANS over phone.
An FIR was also lodged under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 against Sukumar Mondal, with whom Parimal planned to marry off his daughter.
“We have arrested both of them,” said a police officer.
A drunk Parimal, who squandered Rs.80,000 in a gambling session to Sukumar Wednesday, placed his daughter – a class 8 student – as the bet only to lose the game.
“The ring ceremony formalising the engagement ceremony was Thursday, while the two were supposed to tie the nuptial knot in January,” Shah said.
“What is more painful is that a number of villagers attended the ceremony and joined in the feast, without making any protest”.
The incident at the Rishipur village was brought to light by some NGOs and a section of the local media. The CWC staff then went to the village and reported the matter to police.