Assam Drive against the Child Marriage Heats the State
The Assam Cabinet’s new decision to book men who marry girls aged below 14 under the Protection of Children from Sexual offences Act led the police to a massive arrest of Mullas, Kazis Those who marry girls in the age group of 14-18 years will be tried under Prohibition of Child Marriage act, 2006.
Many political leaders have raised their voice against the sudden massive crackdown by the Assam police officials as it seriously affects the lives of many people- mostly the Muslims. Senior Muslim political leader and MP Of Lok Sabha Asadudhin Owaisi asks “Who Will Look After Girls When Husbands Go To Jail?”
Sulthan Hussain ,National Secretary of SIO says ,“The child marriage(prohibition) act exists in our country back from a long time. But putting people behind bars in a rowdyish style, destroying thousands of happy families, is against the spirit of the law”
According to the media, more than 2,700 people have been arrested and sent to jail on the charge that they have been involved in the crime of child marriage.
The Assam government cabinet has decided the cases under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 will be registered against those who have married girls in the 14-18 years’ age group. The offenders will be arrested and the marriages declared illegal. If the groom is below 14 years of age, he will be sent to a reform house.
Two weeks back , Chandni Khatoon, a 20-year-old woman in Assam’s Baksa district had delivered one girl child. On 3 February , her 23-year-old husband Tabrez Alam and her father-in-law were arrested by the local police..
Now with the two only earning members of the family arrested, Chandni is struggling to take care of the child. “We have no savings. The two (husband and father-in-law) used to sell vegetables every day and get money home. I don’t know how we will survive with them gone,” Chandni told The Quint on Monday, three days after the arrest.
The massive arrest has aroused a brawny agitation by the victims’ family members – majorly by the women. In many places, women are protesting against the arrest of their husbands, fathers and relatives.