Couple in Indonesia forced to marry after being caught alone at fruit farm

The couple, identified as Manai, 20, and Sugiani, 19, were married on Monday (Jan 15) with village officials and police personnel from Parangloe subdistrict as witnesses.
The couple, identified as Manai, 20, and Sugiani, 19, were married on Monday (Jan 15) with village officials and police personnel from Parangloe subdistrict as witnesses.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM KOMPAS.COM

GOWA (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A young couple in Belapunranga village in Gowa regency, South Sulawesi, have 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 (Jan 15) in the presence of a penghulu (village headman), with village officials and police personnel from Parangloe subdistrict as witnesses.

The pair 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 told kompas.com on Tuesday.

Police officials subsequently stepped in to defuse tensions between the two families, who had nearly clashed with one another.

Through 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 Abdul Majid said.