Assam Police Arrests 2044 In Child Marriage Crackdown; Women Protests Against Arrest Of Only Men

Guwahati: In a massive crackdown on child marriage in Assam, the police arrested 2,044 people including priests on Friday. The arrest has led women to protests, criticizing Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s government for arresting their husbands and sons.

The state-wide crackdown announced by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma began on Friday and will continue for the next six days.

“Why take only the men? How will we and or our children survive? We have no means of income,” a 55-year-old Niroda Doley of Majuli district told the newswire PTI.

A woman from Barpeta district said her son had eloped with a minor girl. “He made a mistake, but why arrest my husband?” she asked.

Monowara Khatoon of Morigaon said, “My daughter-in-law was 17 when she got married. Now she is 19 and five months pregnant. Who will look after her?”

The Himanta Biswa Sarma led government registered 4,004 cases since the state cabinet decided on January 23 to arrest offenders.

The police said they have a list of 8,000 accused and the drive will continue.

The police have arrested 51 Purohits and Kazis who conducted such wedding rituals in religious institutions, the authorities said, such marriages will be declared illegal.

(With Agency Inputs)

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