Schoolgirl sues mother for forced marriage | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 18, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:39 AM, August 18, 2015

Bangladeshi schoolgirl sues mother over forced marriage

A schoolgirl sued her mother in the district on Sunday for marrying her off against her will.

The complainant, Sharmin Aktar, daughter of Kabir Hossen, of Rajapur in the district, is 14 years old, below the permissible age for girls' marriage, and a student of class IX of Rajapur Pilot Girl's School, said Sheik Munirul Gias, officer-in-charge of Rajapur Police Station.

“I want to continue my study and fight for my rights,” Sharmin said.

Her mother Golenur Begum arranged her marriage with Swapan Khalifa on July 17 though she had been opposing it, she said.

Swapan, in his early thirties, has recently come from a Middle Eastern country. The marriage took place without her signing any paper of marriage and saying “Kabul”, Sharmin said, which the bride and the groom have to say in approval of their marriage according to Islamic tradition.

After the so-called marriage, Golenur, who decides everything in the family as her husband stays abroad, took Sharmin to her uncle's house in Khulna and locked her into a room with Swapan.

The girl fled from the house four to five days ago and headed to her grandmother's house at Bagri Bazar of Rajapur but Golenur got hold of her on the way to Pirojpur. 

Then she was taken back to her mother's house in Rajapur, where she was again forced to stay in a room with Swapan, Sharmin said.

“He tortured me every night as I refused to sleep with him.” 

She had also been warned against disclosing the matter, Sharmin added. 

On Sunday, she left her mother's house, filed a case against her mother and Swapan with the police station and demanded her safety. 

Swapan came to Dhaka that night to leave the country, said a source in Sharmin's family. 

The case was filed under the women and children repression prevention act. “We are raiding several places to arrest the accused,” the OC said, adding the police had handed the girl to her grandmother and arranged for her safety. 

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