Assam: 2,258 arrested in state-wide crackdown on child marriages
Guwahati/IBNS: The Assam Police has arrested 2,258 people so far in a crackdown on child marriages in the state.
Amid the state-wide arrests, women came out in large numbers to demand the release of their husbands and sons.
According to an India Today report, tension prevailed in Dhubri district where police resorted to baton-charge to scatter the women who had gathered in front of the Tamarha Police Station.
They were opposing the arrest of their family members.
The state-wide crackdown announced by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma began on Friday and will continue for the next six days.
As many as 4,074 cases have been registered so far against the accused.
Media reports said that the police have a list of 8,000 accused and the drive will continue.
The police have also arrested 51 purohits and kazis who conducted weddings of minors in religious institutions.
The state cabinet recently decided that those having married girls below 14 years of age will be booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, while those who have married girls in the 14-18 years age group will be charged under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
Assam has a high rate of maternal and infant mortality rate with 31 percent of marriages registered in the state being at the prohibited age.
According to the India Today report, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said he has directed the police to act with a ''spirit of zero tolerance against the unpardonable and heinous crime on women''.