New Delhi, April 14: A 13-year-old girl ‘married’ to a 42-year-old auto rickshaw driver in 2017 was rescued by the police from the Shiv Vihar in Ranhola, outer Delhi on Thursday. The man, accused of marrying and sexually assaulting a minor girl, was married twice earlier before he went on to marry the minor girl in Darbhanga, Bihar, last year.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), M N Tiwari, (outer Delhi) reportedly said that they have arrested the accused under POCSO and Prohibition of Child Marriage Act. The child has been sent to a rehabilitation home.

The girl was living with her mother in Darbhanga district of Bihar. According to the media reports, the girl’s father is dead and her mother is mentally ill. The mother was unable to support the child after her in-laws evicted her and the child from their house”.

The accused has been married twice earlier, where his first spouse had died and the second one had left him. After which he approached the minor’s family in Bihar for a third marriage.  The neighbours of the girl’s family convinced her mother by telling her that the man was earning well in Delhi and would keep her daughter happy.

“The girl who is very young to understand what a marriage is was sent to the man of her father’s age to Delhi after a small marriage ceremony in Bihar,” said the cops reportedly.

The minor girl was married off to the man on 27, February 2017. To keep himself in a safe zone, the accused showed the girl in the eyes of his neighbours as a relative’s daughter from Bihar. First, he started living with his other family members in Hari Nagar in West Delhi.

But recently a week ago, he separated from his family and shifted to a rented room in Shiv Vihar area near Ranhola. While the counselling session, the girl told the counsellors that the man repeatedly assaulted, raped and beaten her in the past year.

“The girl had injury marks in her body indicates that she was beaten up. The man would sexually assault her, even if she was crying”, reports Times of India. The accused kept the girl inside the home, made her perform all household work from cleaning, washing to cooking for the family.  After some time the accused also forced the girl to wear ornaments like a married woman.

After hearing the girl’s crying daily, one of the neighbours of the locality called the child helpline on Wednesday. After which, a team headed by SHO Ranhola Rajesh Kumar Singh visited the house on Thursday after the man had left for work. The cops took the minor girl into their custody and taken her to the hospital where the doctors confirmed sexual assault.

The man has been arrested by the police. Keeping in mind, the dangers that the can face if she sent to Bihar, the police sent her to an NGO rehabilitation centre.