Over 1000 arrested in second phase of crackdown against child marriage


More than 1000 people have been arrested in the second phase of a state-wide crackdown against child marriages in Assam. Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said, the number of arrested people now stands at 1,039.

“In a massive crackdown against child marriage, Assam police arrested over 800 accused persons in a special operation which began in the early hours. The number of arrests is likely to rise,” Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma posted on X.

He put the arrest figure at 1,039 in an updated post. A total of 3,907 people – 3,319 under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act – were arrested when the drive against child marriage was launched in February. Sixty-two of them were later convicted by the court.

On September 11, CM Sarma told the 126-member State Assembly that 2,000 to 3,000 men would be arrested in the second phase of the drive against child marriage. “Girls can never march forward and will continue to be exploited if the menace of child marriage continues,” he said.

During the first round of the drive earlier this year, thousands were held across the state.

The Assam government has also decided to end polygamy alongside the drive against child marriage. It constituted a three-member panel a few weeks ago to draft an anti-polygamy law after consulting all stakeholders. The Chief Minister said the law could be enacted by the end of 2023.