Guwahati, Feb 2 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that a total of 4,004 child marriage cases have been registered across the state, adding that “more police action is likely in days ahead”
Sharing a report of the Assam Police on Twitter, Sarma said: “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 (Friday). I request all to cooperate.”
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According to the report, the highest number of cases at 370 were registered in Dhubri district, followed by Hojai (255) and Udalguri (235).
At least 192 cases were registered in the Guwahati police Commissionerate.
At 24, Dima Hasao district in the state logged lowest number of child marriage cases.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minster had already ordered the state police to begin a severe crackdown on child marriages.
“Marrying a minor girl is not only against the law, but it also breaches the fundamental rights of a girl child and is quite dangerous to her health. According to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, all the spouses of such young women would be imprisoned and charged,” he said.
The state government made its decision in response to disturbing data from an official survey performed by the health department that showed that, on an average in Assam, 31 per cent of girls were married off before turning the legal age of 18.
“Such a large number of young girls were subjected to child marriage is disturbing. The state government has decided to file cases against all the husbands who are responsible for getting a girl pregnant before the age of 18 under POCSO act,” Sarma said.
He warned that the penalty for such a crime may be life imprisonment.