The Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) on Friday called out the Assam government for its crackdown on child marriages in which over 3,000 arrests have been made so far. APCR accused the Assam government of creating fear among the minority communities in the state.
The crackdown on child marriage in Assam began on February 3 with 3,047 arrests made so far across the state, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed on Thursday. The total number of registered cases in the state stood at 4,235, the CM stated.
Advocate Tamanna Pankaj, who was a part of the fact-finding team of the civil rights body that had conducted a survey in the Dhubri district of Assam made grave allegations against the Assam Police. She said the state police has been “violating guidelines” and arresting people “by barging into their houses”.
“More than 2,700 people have been arrested so far in the name of women protection. The police there have been violating guidelines and arresting people in the early hours of the day. By these actions, the administration is instilling fear among the people, especially the minority community,” alleged advocate Pankaj.
Meanwhile, the Assam CM claimed that the crackdown on child marriage has had a “positive impact” and several families across the state have called off pre-scheduled weddings of underage people as a result of the crackdown.
CM Himanta Biswa Sarma had written on Twitter, “Reports are coming from various parts of Assam that several families have cancelled pre-scheduled marriages between underage children after our drive against such illegal practices.”
The people, who have been apprehended for their association with child marriage cases so far across Assam, have been lodged in temporary jails. Many women have protested the government’s decision and decried the arrest of the sole breadwinners of their families.