Assam cracks down on child marriages: Since the police operation started on February 3, 3,041 persons, including 93 women, have been detained. More than 8,000 people were identified as defendants in the FIRs for the 4,074 instances that were filed.
Police were called to the residence of a vegetable vendor on February 3 shortly after midnight to place his older brother in jail for allegedly marrying a juvenile. After failing to locate the older boy, they brought charges against the parents.
In an effort to crack down on child weddings, authorities in Assam‘s Baksa district have detained 22 women, including the mother, who is close to 50 years old. Reports state that 3,040 people, including 94 women, have already been detained since the police activity first surfaced on February 3.
The mother of the vegetable dealer is staying at the Matia Transit Camp in Goalpara. The camp, which served as Assam’s first “detention facility” and was built exclusively to house “illegal foreign immigrants,” has now become a jail to house those detained in connection with child marriage cases.
Vendor’s Initial Reaction?
The vegetable vendor stated that the police had detained his parents because “my brother was not at home when they arrived.” He went to the police station to give himself in because we figured that if he decided to surrender, they might think about releasing him. He was detained, but our parents are still behind bars.
He is now in charge of taking care of his two younger siblings because half of his family is now behind bars and his sister-in-law has moved back in with her parents.
Is this kind of arrest common in Assam?
During the early hours of February 3 in another neighborhood inside the same area, a lady in her 50s was taken away from her home by cops who were unable to locate their son. Additionally residing at the Matia Transit Camp is this lady.
Women are rarely detained, but fathers and brothers of males charged with marrying children have been imprisoned all throughout the nation in their absence.
The family members are being detained, according to the local police, for “promoters” of child weddings.
Assam Inspector particularly said that such apprehensions of immediate family members or middlemen have not always been carried out. When there was concrete evidence that they had helped facilitate child weddings, certain actions were taken.
In the 4,000 cases that the police first filed, almost 8,000 persons were named as suspects in FIRs. The ambiguity of who would be accused in connection with a case, according to family members of those who allegedly married children, has created considerable grief.
Similarly, after her husband was arrested from their house in the Morigaon area after officials were unable to find his younger brother, a mother, and her three-month-old infant began protesting in front of a police station. In reality
Currently, there are almost 600 million women in the globe who were compelled to get married as young girls. Statistics show that more than a million girls marry in India before they are legally considered adults, which has the unpleasant result of having the greatest proportion of child brides. In Assam, more than 40% of women wed before the legal marriage age, according to a nationwide poll.
The Chief Minister’s response to the problem:
Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, has formally announced that his administration will launch a statewide campaign against child marriage, prosecuting men who wed girls younger than 14 under the POCSO Act and those who wed girls between the ages of 14 and 18 under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.