Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on Saturday took a swipe at the Assam government over its crackdown against child marriages.
Calling it a "farce", Gogoi said, "It seems the police are instructed to investigate cases that are decades old without proper enquiry or adherence to procedure. It's a farce."
He further said that the people of the state have "completely rejected" the initiative.
Gogoi also called the crackdown by the Assam government a PR exercise.
"It is a PR exercise for the Chief Minister under whose tenure - cases of mafia, crimes against women and elderly, drugs and kidnappings have increased. Police are reprimanded by high courts for failing their investigation esp in the Arnamai Bora murder case," he wrote in his tweets.
Notably, considering a surge in cases of child marriage (below the age of 18 years) of Assam women as reported by the National Report of the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led State government is carrying the crackdown against child marriages.
As per the latest development, Assam police have arrested 2258 people, across the state, involved in child marriage incidents.
Police said they have a list of 8,000 accused and as the drive continues, the figures will increase.
The drive was launched on Thursday night after CM Himanta Biswa Sarma chaired a video-conference meeting with senior officials of the police department directing them to launch a crackdown to rid the state of the evil practice of child marriage.
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 per cent 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 per cent.
Of these 31.8 per cent of women, more than half (50.8 per cent) cases were from All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MP Badruddin Ajmal's parliamentary constituency, Dhubri.
As per the government, child marriage leads to teenage pregnancy in women causing maternal deaths in the state.
According to the Assam police data, 139 people have been arrested in Biswanath, 126 in Dhubri, 120 in Baksa, 114 in Barpeta, 97 in Nagaon, 96 in Hojai, 94 in Kokrajhar, 87 in Bongaigaon, 79 in Karimganj, 76 in Hailakandi, 72 in Cachar, 72 in Goalpara district in cases related to child marriage.
Director General of Assam Police (DGP) GP Singh, while addressing a press conference on Friday, said that 4,074 cases related to child marriage have been registered at different police stations across the state.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that the crackdown against child marriages in the state would continue in the coming days.
(With inputs from ANI)