1,039 people held in Assam amid massive crackdown against child marriagetext_fields
Guwahati: The Assam Police made 1,039 arrests on Tuesday as part of a massive crackdown against child marriage.
The number of those detained was shared by the chief minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, the New Indian Express reported.
“In a massive crackdown against child marriage, Assam Police arrested over 800 accused persons in a special operation which began in the early hours of dawn. The number of arrests is likely to rise,” he posted on the microblogging site X, formerly Twitter.
This is the second such crackdown, which was mostly conducted in various areas of lower Assam and the Barak Valley in southern Assam.
3,907 persons were detained in February, 3,319 of whom were in accordance with the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Later, the court convicted sixty-two of them.
In September, Sarma had declared that the second round of the campaign against underage marriage would result in the arrest of 2,000–3,000 men. He had warned that the girls would never advance and would always be exploited if the threat of child marriage persisted.
According to Congress MLA Sherman Ali, child marriage is a social evil that ought to be eradicated. He believed that the crackdown would send a positive message and be especially helpful to the minority society. However, he was not pleased with how the crackdown against it was being conducted.
“We don’t support the government’s modus operandi. We will gain nothing by taking action against people who got married 5-10 years ago and now have children. The drive should have been against people who married in recent times,” Ali told journalists on Tuesday.
The state's BJP-led administration is working to put an end to polygamy in addition to its campaign against child marriage.
Recently, a three-person committee composed of the Director General of Police, the Legal Remembrancer, and the Advocate General was established to draft the proposed anti-polygamy law. Sarma is optimistic that the law will be passed before the year is through.