This is his second marriage
The chairman of Buraburi Union Parishad in Kurigram's Ulipur upazila has been accused of child marriage.
On Sunday night, Abu Taleb, 49, married a ninth-grader of a local school. This is his second marriage.
However, Abu Taleb claimed that although the bride is a ninth-grader, she is 20 years old.
According to local residents, the chairman's new bride's name is Bonhita Osman Bonhi. She is the daughter of Osman Gani of Dalan village in Buraburi union and a Class IX student of Bakshiganj High School in the same union.
Sources at Bakshiganj High School said that according to the certificate submitted to the school, Bonhi was born on September 23, 2003. That makes her 17 years and two months old.
Abu Bakkar Siddique, village policeman of Buraburi UP and the bride’s uncle, said Bonhi’s father had been bedridden for a long time after being paralyzed. The girl’s education had been interrupted due to her father’s illness. Although she is in the ninth grade, she is 20 years old.
Meheruzzaman, headmaster of the school Bonhi studies in, said Bohni had only taken a break in the eighth grade. As such, she should have been in the tenth grade instead of in the ninth.
Confirming the marriage, Chairman Abu Taleb said: “I got married for the second time with the permission of my first wife, who has been ill for a long time. But this is not a child marriage.”
Regarding the complaints of locals about the marriage, the chairman said: “According to her certificate of the fifth-grade national examination she was born in 2000. As such, she is a little under 20 years old. The marriage took place with the consent of the girl and her family. This is not a child marriage.”
Meanwhile, Ulipur Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) and Assistant Commissioner Ashraful Alam Russell said: “There is no legal impediment to a second marriage if the first wife gives permission.
“However, after investigating whether it is a child marriage or not, legal action will be taken. A public representative should prevent such incidents [child marriage]; he himself cannot commit such an act himself.”