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Assam child marriage crackdown: Over 3,000 arrests made so far

In the Barak Valley region of southern Assam, over 100 marriages were either called off or delayed while 2,278 people were arrested and 4,074 complaints filed till Sunday as part of the widespread crackdown.

Assam’s chief minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, recently said that the state’s campaign against child marriage had resulted in around 3,015 arrests. He made the announcement on Twitter. On January 23, the state cabinet resolved to take action against child marriage and simultaneously began a massive awareness campaign. Assam police started its operation against the social evil on 3 February.

According to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam Police have apprehended over 1,800 persons till Friday in a broad campaign against child marriage. The CM stated, that the crackdown had started early in the morning across the state and will go on for the next three to four days.

“I have asked Assam Police to act with a spirit of zero tolerance against the unpardonable and heinous crime on women,” the CM had said. Assam government ordered police to arrest males who married girls between the ages of 14 and 18 under the prohibition of child marriage act and to round up men who wedded girls younger than 14 under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) act.

In order to lower infant and maternal mortality rates and prevent child marriages in rural areas, the cabinet also resolved to appoint all 2,197 Gram Panchayat Secretaries as ‘Child Marriage Prevention (Prohibition) Officers’ under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. The CM claimed that the decision was made after the state cabinet had a detailed discussion of the National Family Health Survey (NHFS) 5.

In the Barak Valley regions of southern Assam, over 100 marriages were either called off or delayed, while 2,278 people were arrested and 4,074 complaints filed till Sunday as part of the widespread initiation.

Sarma informed, “More than one lakh underage girls were married off and many of them became child mothers in the recent years including a girl who was just nine years old when she delivered a baby. Action will also be taken against the parents as well as priests or Qazis who performed these illegal marriages.”

In the 4074 cases that were filed, more than 8000 accused were listed. The majority of these weddings occurred in the lower and central regions of Assam, which have sizable populations of undocumented Bangladeshi immigrants.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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