Indian woman arrested for marrying ’17-year-old’

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Indian woman arrested for marrying '17-year-old'

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Image caption The legal age for marriage is 18 years for women and 21 years for men

Police in the Indian city of Mumbai have arrested a 20-year-old woman for marrying a 17-year-old boy.

The woman and the couple's five-month-old daughter have been in prison for the past fortnight.

She was arrested after the teenager's mother lodged a police complaint. She has been charged under the stringent child sex abuse act.

The woman says their relationship is consensual, and also contests the claim that her husband is underage.

Although the age of consent for sex in India for all genders is 18, the legal age for marriage is 18 years for women and 21 years for men.

So in this case, police have also charged the woman under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.

The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi says it's a rare case where a woman has been arrested for marrying an underage man. There are many instances where young men in consensual relationships have been arrested after complaints from the parents of girls who are less than 18 years of age.

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The teenager's mother registered a complaint with the police in December last year accusing the woman and her family of kidnapping her son and forcing him into marriage, a Mumbai police official told BBC Hindi.

He said they carried out the arrest after a thorough inquiry and taking legal advice because the accused was a woman.

In the complaint, the mother also said that her son had been in contact with the woman for two years and that she had threatened to kill herself if he stopped meeting her.

The woman has filed a bail petition where she has claimed that her husband is over 18 and that their relationship is consensual, according to Indian media reports.

She says that he has two sisters aged 20 and 18 so it's not possible for him to be 17 years and eight months old.

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