Assam Police Facing Challenges to File Charge Sheets
The state cabinet had approved the booking of men who married girls younger than 14 years under the POCSO Act of 2012
GUWAHATI: After Himanta Biswa Sarmas's order to take strict action on all perpetrators related to incidents of child marriages in the state, the state police sprung into service and arrested a record number of people from different parts of the state. Not only grooms, parents and even priests who had conducted these marriages were also apprehended by the state police in a matter of days. But the problem now is to make these cases hold in front of the court.
DGP GP Singh was present for the ongoing Y20 meet in IIT Guwahati. "We have registered 4,074 cases and over 2,500 people have been arrested till this morning. All the accused in these cases have been identified and they will be arrested and charge sheets filed against them," he said during his visit. And added, "the biggest challenge now is to file the charge sheets within the 60 to 90 days time frame."
This is the first major case that is being handled by Gyanendra Pratap Singh who took over as the Director General of Police at the beginning of the month. He mentioned that the biggest hurdle being faced by the state police is the submission of the necessary charge sheets to the courts. He added that the aim of this endeavour is not to harass anyone but to stop child marriages completely in the coming years.
When questioned about some of the accused being able to receive bail, he mentioned that the priority is not about how many days they are behind bars, but about the submission of the charge sheets so that the guilty can be punished under the ambit of the law.
The state cabinet had approved the booking of men who married girls younger than 14 years under the POCSO Act of 2012. While the chief minister had cited health reasons and teenage pregnancies as the reason for this crackdown, many other politicians saw a communal angle in the recent action. Family members of several arrested people have been protesting against the arrests.