Child marriages in Assam: Over 2,500 people arrested in massive crackdown

HY News 08 February, 2023 02:33 pm IST

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In the past few days, over 2,500 people have been arrested by the state officials in the massive crackdown on child marriages in Assam.

Media reports said temporary jails will be made operational soon in coming days. Government built a makeshift-prison to house those arrested in the crackdown against child marriage in Silchar. The state cabinet had recently approved a proposal to charge men who have married girls below 14 years of age under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO).

Quoting Cachar Superintendent of Police Numal Mahatta, media reports said "We have arrested a lot of people. We will be arresting more in the days to come and have got the permission from the government to create a temporary jail and use it when required”.

Protests against the arrests by women activists were reported on Tuesday from Matia in Goalpara district and Silchar in Cachar district. They protested before a transit camp in Matia and a stadium in Silchar, which were converted to temporary jails to accommodate those arrested in child marriage cases.

Chief Minister Himanta Sarma said the crackdown on child marriage will continue and if needed, will go on till the next state election in 2026. The assam Chief minister had pointed out that teenage pregnancy accounted for nearly 17 per cent of over 6.2 lakh pregnant women last year in the state.

The opposition parties have criticised the manner in which it is being carried out, terming the arrests of teenage husbands and family members as "abuse of law" for political gain and equating the police action with "terrorising people".

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