3,000 to be arrested in 2nd round of child marriage crackdown in Assam


Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday announced that the state would launch the second round of crackdown against child marriage within the next few days, in which another 3,000 people would be arrested.
In February this year, the Assam government had launched a massive crackdown against child marriage in the state in which around 3,141 people had been arrested within a span of a month. Those arrested included men who had married underage girls as well as family members and religious leaders who had facilitated these marriages. They were booked under the provisions of the stringent POCSO Act and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act. Addressing the National Executive of the BJP Mahila Morcha in Guwahati on Sunday, Sarma said, “Six months ago, I had gotten 5,000 people arrested for child marriage. I was waiting for G-20 summit to conclude, and now, within 10 days, another 3,000 men will be arrested for child marriage.” “Child marriages needs to be stopped. There is a law made that this should not happen, but if this keeps happening time and again, then the daughters of a particular section will never be able to go ahead. They will always be the targets of oppression,” he added. Earlier, Sarma had said that the second round of arrests would be specifically targeted at those who have participated in child marriage in the period after the last crackdown earlier this year.
An analysis of records of those arrested in the last crackdown showed that 62.24% of those arrested were Muslims, while the rest were Hindus and people from other communities.
A district-wise break-up of the arrests showed that the top five districts in terms of the number of arrests were Nagaon (224), Hojai (219), Dhubri (217), Baksa (179) and Barpeta (174).