Jakarta: Despite the ban, child marriages seem to be increasing in Indonesia. In the latest case, a 12-year-old girl was married off secretly to a 45-year-old man as “return of favour”.

The incident happened at Banyuwangi in the Indonesian province of East Java. It is reported that her adoptive parents had arranged this Nikah with the man who is equal to the girl's grandfather's age.

The man already has three wives, still went ahead for 'Siri', an unregistered marriage quite rampant in Indonesia.

After coming to know about this child marriage, the girl’s biological father approached police and filed a complaint.

The adoptive parents who are relatives of the biological father failed to get permission from him and held this secret wedding. The police are yet to investigate whether the unrecognised marriage was consummated.

Similarly another adoptive father named Sappa, also known as Father Alif, married his 12-year-old daughter off to a 44-year-old man named Baharuddin.

It is said such marriages are often held to cover up debts. However, such marriages will not have any recognition by Imams as the girls are minors.

After the wedding ceremony, the girl’s family asked the Pinrang Religious Court to legalise the marriage, but the court later found that the marriage was an apparent effort on the adoptive father’s part to conceal that he had allegedly raped the girl.

“We immediately arrested the perpetrator,” Dharma Negara, head of the Pinrang District Police Criminal Unit was quoted as saying.