GUWAHATI: The State government will start the arrest of child marriage offenders from today. In the past nine days, the government registered over 4,000 cases against child marriage.
Briefing the media today, the Chief Minister said, "The government is firm in its resolve to end the menace of child marriage in the state by 2026. The arrest of offenders under the relevant Act will start tomorrow. We have instructed the district authorities to act. The police are ready to tackle if there are protests."
The Chief Minister said, "We aim to crack the modus operandi of child marriages. Performers of child marriages like Mullah, Jonabs, Kajis, Pujaris and others maintain two registers – one for child marriages and the other for adult marriages. More of their modus operandi will come out after arrests from tomorrow. It is an elaborated exercise that will continue till the menace ends. Many minority organizations and people have hailed the initiative. We want all to support it."
On the post-arrest scenario, the Chief Minister said, "We have the plan to rehabilitate the child brides. If a child bride has no one to take care of her, the deputy commissioners will take responsibility. We will set up a long-term rehabilitation arrangement for them."
The Chief Minister said, "We have planned to involve school girls to elicit information from their friends who are getting married. Around 30,000-40,000 child marriages take place in Assam yearly. We will bring all involved in child marriages from the past seven years to the book. In the past 20 years, government and non-government agencies responsible for preventing child marriages did not do the job sincerely. That has made us strict as the situation has escalated to the worst."
In the past nine days, the police registered 370 cases in Dhubri, 255 in Hojai, 224 in Morigaon, 235 in Udalguri, 204 in Kokrajhar, 192 in Kamrup (M), 153 in Baksa, 157 in Goalpara, 145 in South Salmara, 171 in Nalbari, 113 in Nagaon etc.
Also Read: Child Marriage in Assam and its Effects