A child bride aged just five and her nine-year-old groom were rescued by welfare officials as they stood at the altar today.
The shocking marriage between the two children had been due to go ahead in Mambapur, Telangana state, central India, as part of a reported caste ritual.
Footage shows officials from India’s Child Welfare Department raiding the ceremony and carrying the sobbing girl into protective custody.
Children’s rights activist Achyuta Rao from charity Balala Hakkula Sangham said that the parents were conducting the marriage because someone had died recently in the household.
He said: “As per their custom, no relative will enter their house after the death of a family member, unless they perform an ‘auspicious event’ and celebrate it.”
Police are said to have counselled the parents.
The raid came as children’s charities across India increase pressure on government welfare officials to stamp out child marriages.
In February this year, two priests were arrested after they wed their 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter in Hyderabad, to increase “family prosperity”.
Originally published at Mirror.co.uk