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A 15-year-old girl who was being married to a physically challenged 38-year-old man was rescued on Wednesday evening at the last moment from a local temple in Hyderabad as the ceremony was in progress.

The girl was promised to the man after her family failed to pay rent to the groom’s parents for months.

According to a report, the groom, Ramesh Gupta, cannot walk and stands with difficulty. His parents have set up a mechanic shop for him and he looks after it.

Meanwhile, the girl has just passed her Class 10 board exams. It is yet not clear how much money the girl’s parents own to their landlord, Chennayya Gupta. When they failed to pay up, the man insisted they marry their daughter to their son.

"They wanted someone to look after their son and demanded that either the girl be married to their son or the family pay the money they owed,'' police inspector P Jagadeeshwar of Mailardevpally police station told.

The minor’s mother Urmila said Ramesh’s family has supported them ever since they came to Hyderabad and started living in Kattedan.

"We promised to get her married to him when she was in Class 9. She also agreed, so we went ahead," she said.

Upset over the entire incident, the girl's father, Srikant, had left the house on Wednesday.

The police and the local child welfare officials rescued the minor after they received a tip-off from an unidentified person.

The couple, originally residents of Odisha's Balasore district, had migrated to Hyderabad four years ago. They have been bringing up three children on the meagre wages they earn as labourers.

A case under the Prevention of Child Marriage Act has been registered against the groom, his father Chennayya Gupta and mother Palli Ramachandramma.

The teen has been taken to a home for girls.
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