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Police arrests 1800 child marriage accused in various parts of Assam till morning; families in despair

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Child marriages have been a long-standing issue in the Indian state of Assam, but the government is now taking a tough stance against this illegal practice. In a massive crackdown launched on Friday, the Assam Police arrested over 1,800 people in just one day and there are expected to be more arrests over the next three to four days. This crackdown was announced by the state’s chief minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and is a result of the state cabinet’s decision on January 23 to take action against child marriages.

Child marriage

Districts with the highest number of Child marriage cases

The police have registered 4,004 cases since the decision, with the highest number of cases recorded in the Dhubri district (370). The chief minister reported that the highest number of arrests were made in Dhubri (136).

According to the official statistics, the total number of cases against child marriage registered in the police districts were-Bajali 132, Baksa 153, Barpeta 81, Biswanath 98, Bongaigaon 123, Cachar 35, Charaideo 78, Chirrang 54, Guwahati Commissionerate 192, Darrang 125, Dhemaji 101, Dhubri 370, Dibrugarh 75, Dima Hasao 24, Goalpara 157, Golaghat 62, Hailakandi 1, Hamren 15, Hojai 255, Jorhat 25, Kamrup 80, Karbi-Anglong 126, Karimganj 92, Kokrajhar 204, Lakhimpur 32, Majuli 44, Morigaon 224, Nagaon 113, Nalbari 171, Sadiya 85, Sivsagar 54, Sonitpur 60, South Salmara 145, Tamulpur 110, Tinsukia 73 and Udalguri 235.

Offenders who married girls below 14 years of age will be charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and those who married girls in the 14-18 years age group will face charges under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.

In addition to the crackdown on this issue, the chief minister emphasized the need for strict action against religious leaders who perform such marriages and those who encourage the guardians of minor girls to marry their daughters off. The government is also considering a special scheme for victims of child marriage to help with their rehabilitation and aims to wipe off the child marriage culture in the state by the end of the chief minister’s first tenure in 2026.

“The problem will not stop by arresting the grooms or husbands. Our aim is to break the entire modus operandi that leads to child marriage. We want the girls to return to schools and the government would try to accommodate them under some scheme or policy,” said Sarma.

Assam Govt is firm in its resolve to end the menace of child marriage in the state. So far @assampolice has registered 4,004 cases (of child marriage) across the state and more police action is likely in days ahead. Action on the cases will begin starting February 3. I request all to cooperate,” the Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted on Thursday.

CM also chaired a virtual meeting with the superintendents of police in the presence of Director General of Police G P Singh on the state-wide police action.

Government’s plans to help victims of child marriage

Child marriage is not only illegal but also harmful to the physical and mental health of the minors involved. It robs them of their childhood, education, and opportunities for personal growth and development. The government’s crackdown on child marriages in Assam is a step in the right direction to ensure that minors are protected and that they are given a chance to live a life free from exploitation and abuse.

It is commendable that the government is taking the issue of child marriage seriously and is taking steps to eradicate this harmful practice. The people of Assam can hope for a brighter future for their children, free from exploitation and abuse, and full of opportunities for growth and development.

Kalija Aita of Pramod Talukdar Memorial Old Age Home passes away, leaves lasting legacy of kindness through eye donation

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