A nine-year-old girl in Pakistan was saved Friday from having to marry a 14-year-old boy to settle a family dispute as police charged four village elders with ordering the "compensation marriage," Reuters reported.
The girl’s sister-in-law suffered an illness and died a few weeks ago and her family suspected foul play.
On March 3, the village council in the Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, decided to give the little girl in “vani,” otherwise known as a compensation marriage, to settle the suspected murder, deputy superintendent of police Mamoonur Rasheed told Reuters.
The council decided the girl would be married to a 14-year-old cousin of her brother's deceased wife, while the brother would pay about $1,430 to his dead wife’s family.
It is rare for such a case to become a police matter in a country where it is often culturally acceptable to use marriage to build and strengthen alliances, settle disputes or pay off debts, Reuters reported.
Under existing laws, parents of child brides face only a month in prison and a $10 fine.