Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that his government is committed to ending the menace of child marriage by 2026.
While replying to a question from Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha at the state assembly, he said, “Our government has taken a series of measures to end the menace. By 2026, child marriage must be ended in Assam. Our government will take strong action to end Child Marriage.”
“Our government has allocated Rs 200 crore for it in this budget so that we can appoint a special advocate against each Child Marriage case. We want to see everybody convicted,” he said.
“We will launch an operation against Child Marriage in the state and arrest people every 2-3 months. We will open a helpline number. We have so far charge sheeted 900 cases. We have acted as per law,” CM Sarma added.
Meanwhile, he said that the state government will work for the rehabilitation of victims by providing scholarships, free education, and free rice schemes.
He said, “Our government will work for the rehabilitation of the victim - by providing scholarship, free education, free rice schemes. We should not compromise with Child Marriage. We are following the law.”
According to the state government data, 50 people were arrested in Assam in 2017 under the Prohibition of Child Marriage, 2006, while 106 people in 2008, 156 in 2019, 216 in 2020, 166 in 2021, 257 in 2022 and 3,098 in the first two months of this year.
Moreover, 932 people were arrested in the state in 2017 under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POSCO), while 1393 people in 2018, 1428 in 2019, 1471 in 2020, 1500 in 2021, 1537 in 2022 and 647 in the first two months of this year.