A 17-year-old Indian girl has exposed Islamic sex tourism in India after escaping from a one-month “contract marriage” that her family arranged.
Muslim women’s rights campaigners said that the short marriages, which are illegal in India and forbidden in Islam, are increasing in the southern city of Hyderabad, where poor families are being targeted.
Nausheen Tobassum said her parents and aunt last month forced her to marry a 44-year-old Sudanese man under a four-week contract worth around $1,840.
Tobassum said the man came to her house the day after the marriage and demanded sex, which she refused.
After Tobassum’s parents said she would be punished if she didn’t oblige, Tobassum escaped her home and informed police.
The Sudanese man, Tobassum’s aunt, and the Muslim priest who conducted the wedding ceremony were then arrested.
Her parents, who are in hiding, will be charged with arranging a child marriage, “outraging the modesty” of a woman, and criminal conspiracy.
Hyderabad Police Inspector Vijay Kumar said poor families are agreeing to “contract marriages” as a way to fund real weddings for their daughters.
He added that the marriages are a form of prostitution, which is disallowed under Islam.
Hyderabad’s Women and Child Welfare Society said at least 15 “contract marriages” are happening in the city each month.