Omani detained in India fails to get bail

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Muscat: A 61-year-old Omani man who was detained in India for allegedly 'marrying' two minor girls has completed more than 90 days in an Indian prison, while 10 other people, all Indians, allegedly involved in the match-making were released last Thursday, the Omani man's family said.

"My brother, who has been following up on the case in India along with the Omani Embassy tried very hard to have him released, through officials and via personal contact, but to no avail," said a son of the detained Omani man.  

He added that the judge postponed the hearing session first to Friday last week, and then to Monday (today) and has promised to set him free on bail.

New lawyer
A new lawyer was appointed last month by the Omani Embassy, to defend the Omani accused.

The family has also appealed to the Omani authorities for help, citing his deteriorating health in the Indian prison as he suffers from heart disease.

The family has also urged for his release in view of the approaching Eid festival on humanitarian grounds.

His son claimed that the Omani national was not being treated well in the Indian prison and the family was finding it difficult to even ensure the prisoner can receive the required supply of prescribed medicines for heart ailment.

According to reports, police have slapped charges of rape (under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and Prohibition of Child Marriages Act) against the Omani national. The parents of the minor girls have been booked under the Prohibition of Child Marriages Act.

Visit to Hyderabad
According to one of his sons, their father was on a visit to Hyderabad to look for a bride on the recommendation of an Indian resident, as "many people from the Gulf travel to Hyderabad for the same reason." They said that their father was 'misled' by some agents who forged the birth certificates when the girls were actually minor. According to the certificates, the age of the girls was 20 years while actually they were 16  years old.

Birth certificates
The police arrested the Omani national based on the original birth certificates of the girls.

The Omani national's kin explained that when the first girl ran away, their father decided to marry the second girl.

"This led to a major dispute between the two families. It was then that the relatives of the first girl filed a police complaint which led to his arrest," they said.

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Its really sad that such an act takes such a long time to get justice. If the person is so old and sick and moreover a foreigner his case should be decided on priority and disposed off. The ambassadors of both the countries should take note of this and help in getting the case disposed off at the earliest.