Guwahati (Assam) [India], February 3 (ANI): Assam Police on Thursday launched a crackdown on people involved in child marriage across the state on the direction of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Police said they picked up at least 7 people in Nagaon and Morigaon districts, as part of the crackdown, on Thursday evening.
Further, according to police, five of the accused were picked up from Nagaon district. They were appherended by the Batadraba police station in the district.
An officer at Batadraba police station said, "We picked up five persons involved in child marriage."
Earlier, on Thursday, the Assam chief minister said his government was firm in its resolve to end the menace of child marriage in the state.
"So far Assam Police has registered 4,004 cases across the state and more police action is likely in the days ahead. Action on the cases will begin, starting February 3," Sarma said.
"Thousands of people engaged in child marriage will be arrested. In the next six or seven days, thousands of youth or men, who have married girls under 18 years, will be arrested. Whoever married a minor previously or now will be held," the Assam CM said on the sidelines of an interaction with the faculty members of Nagaon Medical College.
He added that anyone married to a girl under 14 years of age would be arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Taking to Twitter, CM Sarma had posted earlier, "Assam Govt is firm in its resolve to end the menace of child marriage in the state. So far @assampolice has registered 4,004 cases across the state and more police action is likely in days ahead. Action on the cases will begin starting February 3. I request all to cooperate."
According to data shared by the CM, most child marriage cases were registered in the Dhubri district (370) and the least in Hailakandi (1).
A total of 123 cases were registered in Bongaigaon, 35 in Cachar, 125 in Darang, 75 in Dibrugarh, 157 in Goalpara, 255 in Hojai, 80 in Kamrup, 204 in Kokrajhar, 113 in Nagaon, 224 in Morigaon, and 110 in Tamilpur, among others.
The Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 criminalises sex between an underage child (under 18) and an adult. (ANI)