Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Image: PTI
As the crackdown on child marriage is in full force in Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government has constituted a committee to finalise a rehabilitation policy for victims of child marriages following the recent action by the state police. At least 2,666 people have been arrested and more than 4,000 cases registered in the state so far as part of the crackdown that began on Friday.
The Assam Cabinet also complemented state police for its campaign against child marriage and further directed it to continue with the clampdown.
"The Cabinet also constituted a Cabinet Sub-Committee to finalise a Rehabilitation Policy within 15 days for victims of child marriage," Assam CM tweeted.
Today Assam Cabinet complimented @assampolice for its campaign against child marriage, and further directed it to continue with the clampdown. The Cabinet also constituted a Cabinet Sub-Committee to finalise a Rehabilitation Policy within 15 days for victims of child marriage.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) February 9, 2023
In a tweet, Sarma said that the drive against social evil will continue. "We seek the support of the people of Assam in our fight against this social crime," he added.
Our crackdown against child marriage continues with 2,666 arrests made so far. The drive against this social evil will continue. We seek the support of the people of Assam in our fight against this social crime.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) February 9, 2023
The opposition parties have criticised the manner in which the drive against child marriage was conducted. However, Himanta Biswa justified the action by stating that teenage pregnancy accounted for nearly 17 per cent of over 6.2 lakh pregnant women last year in the state.
Also, the state cabinet recently consented to a proposal to book men who have married girls below 14 years under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.
Those who married girls in the age group of 14-18, will be booked under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. the Cabinet had decided. The marriages will be declared illegal and offenders will be arrested.