Crackdown on Child Marriage in Assam: Muslim to Hindu arrest ratio is 55:45, says CM Himanta Biswa Sarma | Guwahati News

GUWAHATI: The ongoing operation against child marriage in Assam has led to an equal number of arrests of Hindus and Muslims, Prime Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said at the state assembly on Wednesday.
The prime minister said the percentage of arrests made since the February 3 crackdown was 55% Muslim and 45% Hindu.
“I had some of our people arrested too because you (opposition members) will all feel bad. The ratio of arrests of Muslims to Hindus since the February 3 crackdown is 55:45,” Sarma said during her reply to a discussion on Vote of Thanks for Governor’s State Assembly Speech.
“NFHS 5 (National Family Health Survey) data shows that the problem is greatest in Dhubri and South Salmara (Muslim majority districts). Not in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. from there as well,” he added.
He further said, ‘In Biswanath, I said take some from there… The NFHS 4 data collected during the Congress also shows that the highest number of underage marriages and births occur in the districts of Lower Assam (where there is is a greater number of Muslim population).”
The prime minister said the Assam government is discussing introducing a new law in the state against child marriage and that the state government’s campaign against child marriage will continue.
“Our position is clear: child marriage must be stopped in Assam. We are discussing introducing a new law against child marriage. By 2026, we are trying to introduce a new law against child marriage where we are discussing increasing prison sentence from two years to 10 years. Child marriages must be stopped. We mourn for the criminals, but not for the underage girl victims. In the state, an 11-year-old underage girl became a mother, it is not acceptable. I have seen in Assam that some MLAs speak in favor of the defendants”.
The prime minister said: ‘The roll of democracy will continue against lawbreakers who have married a child. The rule of law will continue against child marriage. The Population Control Act was passed during the Congress regime and our government is now trying to raise the marriage age from 18 to 21. This house has a responsibility to speak out against child marriage”.
“Offenders will be arrested every six months. There will be two options: get away from here or stop child marriage, there is no third option,” the prime minister added.
The Assam government on Monday told the Assam Legislative Assembly that 494 people out of 8,773 people who have been sued for child marriage and the Child protection by Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 (POCSO) cases in the state, have been convicted since 2017.
With contributions from the ANI


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