Assam Police Arrest 15 Qazis for Conducting Child Marriages as Crackdown Continues.

Assam Police Arrest 15 Qazis for Conducting Child Marriages as Crackdown Continues.
Assam Police Arrest 15 Qazis for Conducting Child Marriages as Crackdown Continues.
Assam Police Arrest 15 Qazis for Conducting Child Marriages as Crackdown Continues.
Assam Police Arrest 15 Qazis for Conducting Child Marriages as Crackdown Continues.

Assam Police Arrest 15 Qazis for Conducting Child Marriages as Crackdown Continues.

Assam Police Arrest 15 Qazis for Conducting Child Marriages as Crackdown Continues.

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The Arrests and the Seized Certificates

In a significant development, Assam police have apprehended 15 qazis, Islamic judges, who stand accused of conducting child marriages in the state. These arrests were made in the Hailakandi district of Assam on a Wednesday. The police also seized ten marriage certificates from the possession of the accused, shedding light on the extent of this issue.

Assam’s Strong Stand Against Child Marriages

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has taken a firm stance against child marriages, declaring that approximately 3,000 individuals will face arrest on child marriage charges in the coming ten days. This crackdown is part of an ongoing effort to combat child marriage, which has gained momentum since the beginning of the year. The Chief Minister emphasized that child marriage is a social evil with disastrous consequences.

Legal Complexities Surrounding Child Marriages

While the Assam government’s determination to tackle child marriages is clear, legal experts have raised concerns about applying the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) in such cases. The Gauhati High Court has questioned the filing of charges under this law, originally designed to protect children from sexual crimes, in child marriage cases. Some judges have described this approach as “weird,” highlighting the legal complexities involved.

Mixed Reactions and Legislative Measures

The crackdown on child marriages has stirred mixed reactions. Opposition parties have criticized the arrests, calling them an “abuse of law” for political gain and accusing the police of terrorizing people, particularly teenage husbands and family members. Meanwhile, the Assam government has taken steps to address related issues. They have established a five-member panel to draft legislation aimed at banning polygamy and addressing concerns like false identities in inter-religious marriages and the role of qazis in child marriages. This legislative effort is expected to result in a bill being introduced during the December session of the Assam Assembly.

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