A total of 2,044 arrests have been made in connection to cases pertaining to child marriage in Assam as of February 3.This was informed by the Director General of Police (DGP) G P Singh.
Speaking to reporters, GP Singh said, “The chief minister had received information about child marriage being rampant in several parts of the state, after which he ordered an inquiry. As per the directive, data of three years pertaining to child marriage cases were accessed.”
"Following this, all the district SPs were told to get in touch with respective village defence parties, Gaon Buras, chiefs of various communities and prominent people of various communities and on the basis of that we have observed that there are instances of child marriage in various parts of the state," he said.
He continued, “On the basis of this, we have specific instances where cognizable cases were made out and on the basis of that during the last two days, 4074 cases were registered across different districts of Assam. From yesterday, we started taking action on the basis of FIRs that were registered in different districts and till 3 pm we have arrested 2044 people from different districts in the state."
The highest arrests were made in Biswanath, Dhubri, Barpeta, Kokrajhar and Hojai, he further informed.The arrests comes post the state Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced the state government’s tough stance against child marriage cases in the state.
CM Sarma said that individuals who married girls below 14 years of age will be booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and cases under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 will be registered against those who have married girls in the 14-18 age group.
“Arrests will go on as long as the menace that this child marriage continues to persist in Assam. Anyone indulging in child marriage will be straightaway jailed,” the chief minister said.
“We will work towards ridding Assam of child marriages by 2026. In the last nine days, over five thousand cases of child marriages have come to the fore,” he added.