Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday informed that the number of arrests in connection with child marriages in the state stood at 2,441.
This comes as the massive crackdown of Assam Police on child marriage across the state enters the fourth day. The police’s action including arrests of those involved in underage marriages has come following direct orders of the chief minister.
Taking to Twitter today, CM Sarma updated about the number of arrests in the case so far. He wrote, “Total arrest so far - 2441. Crackdown against Child marriage continues in #assam.”
It may be noted that as of Sunday, the total number of arrests stood at 2,278 across Assam. According to the data shared by Assam police, 139 persons were arrested in Biswanath, 130 in Barpeta, 126 in Dhubri, 123 in Baksa, 117 in Bongaigaon, 101 in Nagaon, 94 in Kokrajhar, 85 in Kamrup, 84 each in Goalpara and Udalguri district.
The manhunt was launched since February 3 after directives by the Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to bring an end to child marriage and nab accused.
Meanwhile, the Assam CM has stated that the crackdown on child marriage will continue till state assembly elections 2026.
A total of 4,074 cases related to child marriage were registered by the police. The CM had directed the police to carry out a probe as he had got inputs about child marriage being rampant in the state.
This episode of this slew of crackdowns dates back to May 5, 2022, when the Health Ministry released the fifth report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), carried out in 2019 and 2020. The report, following a fine and detailed reading by the Assam government, showed serious concerns regarding child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and maternal mortality.
It was found in the report that 31.8 percent of women in Assam between 20-24 age were married at a minor age or before 18 years. This was even higher than the national average of 23.3 percent.