This Article is From Feb 03, 2023

"Zero Tolerance": Over 1,800 Arrested Across Assam Over Child Marriages

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he has asked the police to act against the child marriage menace with a "spirit of zero tolerance".

Police are investigating more than 4,000 such cases of child marriage in Assam


More than 1,800 people have been arrested in a massive crackdown on child marriage in Assam so far, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said today.

The crackdown began early in the morning and it will continue over the next few days.

The Chief Minister said he has asked the Assam police to act against the menace with a "spirit of zero tolerance".

"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," tweeted Mr Sarma. 

Police are investigating more than 4,000 cases of child marriage registered across Assam in less than a fortnight, the Chief Minister had said yesterday, declaring the crackdown will start from Friday.

"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 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," he tweeted.

The Assam cabinet has decided to charge men who marry girls below 14 years of age under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences or POCSO Act, while the men who have married teen girls in the 14-18 years age group will be charged under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. 

The Chief Minister also said that the "war" against child marriage will be "secular" and no single community will be targeted. "Those who facilitate such marriages, like clerics and priests, will also face action," he said.

Assam has a high rate of maternal and infant mortality with child marriage being the primary cause.

"The main reason for the high infant mortality rate and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is child marriage. The state has an average of 31 per cent of marriages in the prohibited age," said Mr Sarma.