2,278 arrested in connection with child marriages, say Assam police

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GUWAHATI: The Assam police have arrested as many as 2,278 people in connection with the cases related to child marriage across the state, the police informed on Sunday.

According to the data shared by Assam police, 139 people have been arrested in Biswanath, 130 in Barpeta, 126 in Dhubri, 123 in Baksa, 117 in Bongaigaon, 101 in Nagaon, 94 in Kokrajhar, 85 in Kamrup, 84 each in Goalpara and Udalguri district. In all, 4,074 cases related to child marriage have been registered, the police said.

Notably, considering a surge in cases of child marriage (below the age of 18 years) of Assam women, as reported by the National Report of the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led state government is carrying out a crackdown against child marriages.

The drive was launched on Thursday night after CM Himanta Biswa Sarma chaired a video-conference meeting with senior officials of the police department, directing them to launch a crackdown to rid the state of the evil practice of child marriage.

This episode of this slew of crackdowns dates back to May 5, 2022, when the Health Ministry released the fifth report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), carried out in 2019 and 2020.The report, following a fine and detailed reading by the Assam government, showed serious concerns regarding child marriage, teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality.

It was found in the report that 31.8 per cent of women in Assam between 20-24 age were married at a minor age or before 18 years. This was even higher than the national average of 23.3 per cent. Of these 31.8 per cent of women, more than half (50.8 per cent) cases were from All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MP Badruddin Ajmal’s parliamentary constituency, Dhubri.

As per the government, child marriage leads to teenage pregnancy in women causing maternal deaths in the state. (ANI)

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