Bongaigaon (Assam) [India], February 4 (ANI): In a major crackdown against child marriages, Bongaigaon Police arrested 87 accused in 140 registered cases under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act and POCSO act, the police said.
All arrested persons shall be produced before the court, an officer informed.
"As per the direction and guidance of the government and the higher echelon of Assam Police, Bongaigaon district has registered 140 cases. During the drive, 87 accused persons were arrested, including grooms, family members and middlemen," Superintendent of Police Bongaigaon, Swapnaneel Deka, said.
The cases were registered under the provisions of The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 and The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.
Meanwhile, the Karimganj district police also arrested 79 persons allegedly involved in child marriage.
According to the police, a total of 92 cases related to child marriage have been registered at different police stations in the district.
"Of these 19 persons arrested under Ratabari police station, 18 persons are from RK Nagar police station area, 12 persons from Badarpur police station area, 10 from Bazaricherra police station area, 8 from Nilambazar police station area and five persons from Patharkandi police station area in the district. The cases were registered under the POCSO Act and Prevention of Child Marriage Act," Padmanabh Baruah, Superintendent of Police of Karimganj district, said.
Addressing a press conference, Assam Director-General of Police (DGP) GP Singh said in the last two days, police arrested 2,044 persons across the state, as part of the crackdown on child marriage, and 4074 cases have been registered so far.
According to the Assam police data, 137 persons have been arrested in Biswanath, 126 in Dhubri, 120 in Baksa, 114 in Barpeta, 97 in Nagaon, 96 in Hojai, 94 in Kokrajhar, 87 in Bongaigaon, 79 in Karimganj, 76 in Hailakandi, 72 in Cachar, 72 in Goalpara district.
Singh said that among the arrested individuals 52 are priests and Qazis involved in child marriages.
"The maximum number of people have been arrested from Dhubri, Barpeta, Kokrajhar and Vishwanath districts," added DGP Singh.
He further informed that Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had directed the police to carry out a probe as he had received inputs that child marriage was rampant in the state.
"About two months ago, CM Sarma had told police that he had got inputs that child marriage was rampant in the various parts of the state and directed us to carry out a probe. On the directions from the CM, all the SPs were told to get in touch with respective village defence parties, Gaon Buras, chiefs of various communities and prominent people of various communities and learned that there are instances of child marriage in various parts of the state."
He further said that data has been collected for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022. (ANI)