Indonesian couple forced to marry after caught being alone at fruit farm

Indonesian couple forced to marry after caught being alone at fruit farm
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A young couple in Belapunranga village in Gowa regency, South Sulawesi, has been forced to marry in a traditional ceremony after being caught alone at a rambutan farm by local residents.

The couple, identified as Manai, 20, and Sugiani, 19, were married on Monday in the presence of a penghulu (Muslim wedding official), with village officials and police personnel of Parangloe subdistrict as witnesses.

The two were found to be alone on the Rambutan farm on Jan. 6 and had since become a target of intimidation by local residents. Afterwards, Sugiani's family confronted Manai's family, accusing the latter of violating the customary law called siri.

"This is a problem of siri [customary law]. If not handled properly, it will lead to a disaster because it is related to the dignity of a family," Belapunranga village head Jafar Daeng Talli said as reported by on Tuesday.

Police officials subsequently stepped in to defuse tensions between the two families, who had nearly clashed with one another. Through the mediation assisted by police and village officials, the two families decided to wed Manai and Sugiani.

"We have a problem-solving programme, which aims to create order in society through persuasive and early conflict-prevention approaches," Parangloe Police chief Adj. Comr. Abdul Majid said.

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