Rights body flays Assam govt for crackdown on child marriages, arresting 3,000 people

New Delhi: The Association for Protection of Civil Rights on Friday lashed out at the Assam government for arresting over 3,000 people allegedly involved in child marriages, accusing it of creating fear among the minorities in the state.

The Assam government’s crackdown on child marriages began on February 3, and 3,031 people have been apprehended against registration of 4,225 cases till Tuesday, according to officials.

Advocate Tamanna Pankaj, who was a part of a fact-finding team of the rights body that conducted a survey in Dhubri district in Assam, alleged that the state police has been “violating guidelines” and arresting people “by barging into their houses”.

“More than 2,700 people have been arrested so far in the name of women protection. The police there have been violating guidelines and arresting people in the early hours of the day. By these actions, the administration is instilling fear among the people, especially the minority community,” Pankaj alleged.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has claimed that the crackdown on child marriages has a “positive impact” and that several families have cancelled scheduled weddings of underage people as a fallout of the drive.

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“Reports are coming from various parts of Assam that several families have cancelled pre-scheduled marriages between underage children after our drive against such illegal practices,” Sarma wrote on Twitter.

More than 3,000 people allegedly associated with child marriages have been apprehended so far across Assam and lodged in temporary jails, It has led to protests by women who decried the arrest of sole breadwinners of their families.

Also Read | Underage marriages being cancelled due to crackdown: Assam CM

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