Rana Mondol, a 17-year-old boy has married four times before reaching the minimum official marriage age of 21, triggering harsh criticisms by social media and local people.
Rana, son of Rashedul Mondol alias Rashed of Fulbaria village in Mirpur upazila, has already been divorced by three of his wives whom he had married forging his birth certificate, locals said.
Rana committed his last crime on July 20 when he married a schoolgirl of Bheramara upazila.
On Monday, police arrested his father Rashed from his residence in this connection but the underage polygamist had managed to flee the scene before the law enforcers arrived.
Villagers and his family members said Rana lives in Meherpur and works as a mason there.
He got married first in January 2017 in Bheramara and went for the second in Kochubaria of Mirpur upazila, while his third marriage was with a girl of Khalishakundi in Daulatpur upazila. However, three of his marriages did not last long, they said.
Asmat Ali, a local Awami League leader, said they organised arbitrations several times on the issue, but his family did not pay heed to it and Rana kept committing the crime one after another by counterfeiting his birth certificate.
Rana took his birth certificate from Fulbaria union on July 27, 2016, in which his age was mentioned to be 21. However, no paper was submitted against the proof of his age. The birth certificate was issued following the request of then chairman Khandaker Tipu Sultan and union secretary.
Rana’s father Rashed Mondol said he has forgotten his son’s date of birth. ‘But my daughter is now 11 and my son is 8-9 years older than her,’ he said.
Rana’s mother Rehana Khatun Renu, said, ‘What’s your problem if we get my son married. My son wanted to get married that’s why we arranged his marriages.
Why’re the outsiders putting their noses into our affair?’
Contacted, Fulbaria Union Parishad chairman Haji Abdus Salam said Rana’s family collected fake birth certificate during the previous chairman’s tenure.
Describing the issue as a sensitive one, Mirpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Jamal Ahmed said they are looking into the matter on priority basis. ‘Actions will be taken against those who counterfeited the birth certificate,’ he added.