Assam begins crackdown on child marriage; Himanta Sarma says 1,800 arrested: 'Zero tolerance'
On Thursday, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said over 4,000 cases had been registered as part of the campaign against under-aged marriages in Assam.
The Assam government on Friday began its crackdown on child marriages in the state as chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the police have already arrested more than 1800 people for violating provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
“State wide arrests are presently underway against those violating provisions of Prohibhiton of Child Marriage Act . 1800 + have been arrested so far. I have asked @assampolice to act with a spirit of zero tolerance against the unpardonable and heinous crime on women,” Sarma tweeted.
Prasanta Kumar Bhuyan, Inspector General of Police (IGP) (L&O) and spokesperson of Assam police had earlier told news agency ANI, "Out of these, 131 persons have been arrested in Biswanath. The arrested persons' figure might be increased. Operations are still on."
The state-wide crackdown against child marriage was launched on Thursday night, following the directions of Sarma.
On Thursday night, Sarma chaired a video conference with senior officials of the police department, including Superintendents of Police of all districts, regarding the police actions that would be launched state-wide from today onwards against the practice of child marriage in the state.
He appealed to the people to support the government's action to rid the state of the evil practice of child marriage.
He also said over 4,000 cases had been registered as part of the campaign against under-aged marriages in Assam.
In a tweet, Sarma reiterated the resolve to end child marriages and said 4004 cases have been registered and more were likely.
On January 23, the Assam Cabinet approved a crackdown on child marriages as the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) carried out between 2019 and 2020 showed that percentage of women aged between 20 and 24 married before the legal age of 18 in the state was 31.8 per cent, compared to the national figure of 23.3 per cent.