A disturbing wedding photo recently surfaced online of a 35-year-old man and his new, young wife. Although it’s not necessarily uncommon for an older man to marry a younger woman, this man’s idea of a “younger” woman definitely isn’t what most would envision. Apparently, his new wife is just 6-year-old little girl.
According to Metro, the husband – identified as Ratan Lal Jat – allegedly paid the girl’s family an undisclosed fee for her hand in marriage. The ceremony, which is said to have been arranged by notorious marriage broker Jamuni Bai, reportedly took place on June 23 in the presence of five witnesses. Investigators have stated that Jat married the girl to fulfill the necessary requirements of the Nata Pratha custom.
The ancient tradition allows a married man to have an affair with a married woman if the man provides compensation for the sexual encounter. Since Jat was reportedly single, he married the little girl, reports AOL. Although the two are married, the little girl still resides with her parents.
According to Opposing Views, local authorities learned of the illegal child marriage when the wedding photos began circulating on social media. Inspector Gyanendra Singh has released a statement regarding Jat’s arrest to Metro.
“We learned about the incident when the pictures of the wedding started circulating on social network apps,” Inspector Gyanendra Singh said. “We managed to get hold of the pictures and we sent a team to investigate the matter. We found Ratan Lal had married a minor to follow age-old customs. But for us it is a clear case of child marriage and we arrested Ratan Lal Jat under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006.”
Although Jat has been arrested, local authorities have stated that Bai is still “at large.” “But Jamuni Bai is at large and we’ve launched an operation to find all witnesses involved in the illegal child marriage.”
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]