Guwahati: Assam government on Monday informed the Assembly that as many as 4,670 incidents of child marriages were reported between April 2021 and February 2023.
During the ongoing Budget Session of the Assembly, the official said that at least 3,483 persons have been arrested under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, official said.
According to the state home department, a total of 1,182 arrested persons are still in judicial custody while 2,253 others have been released on bail.
The department furnished the information while replying to the questions by Akhil Gogoi, MLA of Raijor Dal, an Opposition party, during the ongoing Budget Session.
However, the drive was launched based on a decision taken by the state cabinet on January 23 this year.
The BJP-led government said that child marriage have been found to be one of the major reasons behind high rate of infant and maternal mortality rate in the state. The state also has high rate of teenage pregnancies due to child marriage.
Meanwhile, Dhubri district topped the list of child marriage cases and arrests followed by Kokrajhar, South Salmara, Udalguri, Bongaigaon, Hojai, Cachar, Karimganj and Morigaon districts, official stated.
The state government explained that the crackdown was not targeted against any community, child marriage has been found rampant in the districts with majority population of Bengali-speaking Muslims, while it is also a concern in areas inside tea estates and in tribal communities.
The government also said that 494 persons out of 8,773 who were charge-sheeted for child marriage and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) cases in the state, have been convicted since 2017, while, a total of 6,174 persons have been released on bail.