The Assam Police have arrested over 1,800 people so far on Friday in a massive crackdown on child marriage, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
The crackdown began early in the morning across the state and it will continue over the next three to four days, Sarma told reporters on the sidelines of a programme.
The police had registered 4,004 cases of child marriage in less than a fortnight since the state cabinet decided on January 23 to take action, with the arrest of offenders and a simultaneous launch of an extensive awareness campaign.
The chief minister said the crackdown was continuing and a clear picture will emerge by evening on the number of arrests and the districts from where those were made.
The highest number of 136 arrests so far has been made in Dhubri where 370 cases have been registered, followed by 110 in Barpeta and 100 in Nagaon.
Those having married girls below 14 years of age will be booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and cases under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 will be registered against those who have married girls in the 14-18 years age group. They will be arrested and the marriages will be declared illegal. If the boy is also below 14 years of age, he will be sent to a reform house as minors cannot be tried in the court. The priests, kazis and family members involved in the conduct of such marriages will also be booked,” Sarma had said earlier.