Temporary Jails Set Up To Accommodate Arrestees in Child Marriage Crackdown In Assam

Guwahati: The Matia transit camp in Goalpara of Assam and a stadium in Silchar have been converted into temporary jails for the detainees who were arrested on suspicion of either marrying underage girls or solemnising and inciting such marriages that exceeded 2400,

A total of 2441 people were taken into custody till Monday.

Assam Police IG (law & order) Prashanta Kumar Bhuyan, who is also the official spokesperson, said: “Jails in a few districts have become overcrowded for which the Assam government has converted the Matia transit camp and a stadium in Silchar into temporary jails. The transit camp has a capacity of 3,000 inmates.”

Four persons, who have married underage girls, have been booked under Section 9 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, which deals with punishment of male adult who contracts child marriage. Similar to this, those who have performed child marriages have been charged under Section 10 of the Act, and those who have encouraged or allowed the performance of child marriages have been charged under Section 11. As of Monday, the police had detained 2,441 males, including kazis, priests, and family members of minor brides.

According to the Act, an offence punishable under the aforementioned Act is cognizable and non-bailable, a lawyer who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.

Meanwhile, wives of those arrested on charges of marrying underage girls continued to demand their husbands’ release. A woman, who was crying outside the Biswanath police station, said, “Who will take care of my family if they (police) keep my husband in jail? I have a one-year-old child.”

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