Updated February 26th, 2024 at 12:34 IST

'As long as I am alive...': Himanta Sarma Vows to End Child Marriage by 2026

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday vowed to eradicate child marriage from the state before 2026.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma | Image:Grab
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New Delhi: Speaking in Assembly, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday vowed to eradicate child marriage from the state before 2026. Challenging opposition in the Assembly, Sarma said, "Hear me carefully, as long as I am alive I will not let child marriage take place in Assam. I will not let this happen as long as Himanta Biswa Sarma is alive...I would like to challenge you politically, I will shut down this shop before 2026."

The state government had launched a crackdown against child marriage in the state in two phases last year and it was found that many elderly men married multiple times and their wives were mostly young girls, belonging to the poor section of the society, Sarma had said earlier.

In the first phase in February last year, 3,483 people were arrested and 4,515 cases were registered in February, while 915 people were arrested and 710 cases were registered in the second phase in October last year.  

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On Friday, the Assam Cabinet had given the nod to repeal the Assam Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Act, 1935 in a bid to end child marriage. 

“This Act contained provisions allowing marriage registration even if the bride and groom had not reached the legal ages of 18 and 21 respectively, as required by law. This move marks another significant step towards prohibiting child marriages in Assam,” the Chief Minister had posted on X.

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The chief minister had earlier said that the state government was planning to bring a Bill to end polygamy.

An expert committee had submitted a report on the assembly’s competence to end polygamy following which 150 suggestions were received regarding the proposed Bill to end the social menace in the state. The chief minister had said that his government was in support of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) but wanted to ban polygamy immediately in the state. The UCC is a matter which will be decided by Parliament but the state can also take a call with the assent of the President, he said.

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Published February 26th, 2024 at 12:19 IST