DISTURBING pictures have emerged which appear to show a 35-year-old councillor marrying a six-year-old girl.
Ratan Lal Jat, 35, is an elected local member of the Gangrar village council, in Rajasthan, West India.
On June 23, itâ€™s thought that Ratan Lal Jat wed the extremely young child bride in front of five witnesses in a secret village temple ceremony.
Local marriage broker Jamuni Bai â€“ notorious for arranging such marriages for fees â€“ was said to be present.
Police explained that Ratan Lal Jatâ€™s unsettling ceremony was to fulfil the requirements of Nata Pratha.
An ancient local custom, Nata Pratha dictates that any married man can have an affair with a married woman if he provides financial compensation, the two lovers must both be wed.
Because Ratan Lal Jat was single, he married the six-year-old girl in order to comply with the age-old tradition.
The girlâ€™s family were paid an undisclosed fee and although she is now married to a man 29 years her senior, she can continue to live in her family home.
Police have arrested Ratan Lal Jat under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006.
Gyanendra Singh, inspector and Station House officer of Gangrar, said: â€˜We learnt about the incident when the pictures of the wedding started circulating on social network apps. We managed to get hold of the pictures and we sent a team to investigate the matter.
â€˜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.â€™
Concerning the marriage broker, Inspector Singh added: â€˜But Jamuni Bai is at large and weâ€™ve launched an operation to find all witnesses involved in the illegal child marriage.â€™ – metro.co.uk