Police on Sunday raided a marriage ceremony in Sindh's Badin district, foiling a bid to marry off a minor girl to a 40-year-old man.

The police team, led by Model Police Station's Station House Officer (SHO) Anwer Ali Leghari, conducted the raid in the Quaidabad locality of the Ward No. 5 area and recovered a 10-year-old girl.

Police arrested the would-be groom, the nikah khawan (officiator of the marriage) and the girl's father from the event.

According to police officials, the girl's parents had 'sold' their daughter to Abdul Khaliq Pasayo, 40, who hailed from a village near Diplo town of Tharparkar district.

The arrested groom, who is a worker of the provincial health department, already has three children from his first wife and had reportedly 'bought' the girl for his second marriage.

A First Information Report was registered under the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013 against Jan Mohammad Sheedi, the girl's father, the groom and Moulana Daud Jat on behalf of the state.

Police officials told Dawn that all the accused would be produced in court on Monday.

Child marriage is a punishable offence in Sindh. According to the Child Marriages Restraint Act, a child marriage includes any marriage where one of the contracting parties is less than 18 years of age. Those found guilty of entering into, or facilitating, a child marriage can be sentenced to rigorous punishment for up to three years.

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