Hyderabad Police arrested three more Omani nationals and two qazis in the ‘Sheikh marriage racket’ on Tuesday.

The police arrested the three Omani citizens on the information provided by the chief qazi of Hyderabad Ali Abdullah Rafi, who is in the custody of the police. An assistant qazi was also arrested.

The qazi reportedly informed the police that the three Omani nationals were in the city to marry minor girls.

Deputy Commissioner of Police V Satyanarayana told media that the police have also initiated proceedings to deport two Qatari nationals.

One of them was identified as 75-year-old Baloshi Abdullah Mubarak Abdullah, a blind man who has a pacemaker and is undergoing dialysis thrice a week. The police official claimed that he married 10 times and was in the city for his 11th marriage.

However, since no evidence was found against him and since he is a chronic patient, authorities contacted the Oman embassy for his deportation. Another Omani national Qamees Mohammed will also be deported.

The DCP said the racket of contract marriages and international trafficking of minor girls was not confined to Hyderabad but spread to Mumbai, parts of Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal.

“We are trying to reach to the roots of this racket. There will be zero tolerance for this kind of activities,” he said..

The DCP said a list of such people will be prepared and submitted to the countries concerned for suitable action against them.

Satyanarayana said they had so far identified 35 victims including 22 minors. Some of them were married for 15 to 30 days under what is called contract marriage. Some victims were taken to Arab countries on domestic servant visas.

The official said in most of the cases 50-70 year olds married 15-17 year old girls.

Five Omani and three Qatari nationals along with three qazis were arrested after an Arab marriage racket, involving minor girls, was busted by Hyderabad police on 20 September.

Charges under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 420 (cheating and dishonest), 370 (exploitation), rape and POCSO Act have been filed against them.

The racket was busted after a woman complained to the police that her husband with the help of some brokers ‘sold’ their minor daughter to a 70-year-old Omani national Ahmed Abdullah.

The girl is stuck in Oman.

The police chief said efforts were underway to rescue the girl from Oman.

(With agency inputs)