Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 14:12 UK

Police deny child marriage claim

Bangladesh map

Police in Bangladesh say that reports of a 75-year-old man marrying a 13-year-old girl in lieu of a debt repayment are unfounded.

They say the man may have married an underage woman but that this is not yet proven. The allegations were made by the children of his first wife.

Reports said that the girl was married off to the man because her father owed him money.

Bangladesh's legal age of marriage for women is 18 years.

Arranging underage marriages is a punishable offence.

But, police say, the father of the bride is friends with the 75-year-old man. They say there is no evidence the marriage was about settling a debt.

Human rights groups say child marriage is common in Bangladesh.

They say punishment to the offender is also mild - a month in jail or a fine of $15, or both.

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