Indian police nab over 2,000 males for unlawful baby marriages

GUWAHATI, India (AP) — Indian police have arrested greater than 2,000 males in a crackdown on unlawful baby marriages involving women beneath the age of 18 in a northeastern state, officers stated Saturday.

These arrested this week included greater than 50 Hindu clergymen and Muslim clerics for allegedly performing marriages for underage women in Assam, state police chief Gyanendra Pratap Singh stated.

“We’ve got to date arrested 2,169 males based mostly on 4,074 registered police circumstances involving a complete of about 8,000 males,” stated Singh.

Many circumstances of kid marriage in Assam, a state of 35 million folks, go unreported.

Solely 155 circumstances of kid marriages within the state had been registered in 2021 and 138 in 2020, in response to the Nationwide Crime Information Bureau.

In India, the authorized marriageable age is 21 for males and 18 for girls. Poverty, lack of training, and social norms and practices, significantly in rural areas, are thought-about causes for baby marriages throughout the nation.

Tv photos on Friday confirmed some younger ladies with infants of their arms, crying and protesting the sudden arrests of their husbands.

“We had been struggling and someway making ends meet. However we had been completely happy collectively. Who will present for our livelihood now that my husband has been arrested?” requested a younger girl.

Singh stated baby marriages had been one motive for the state’s excessive toddler mortality and maternal mortality charges.

“I’ve requested the Assam police to behave with a spirit of zero tolerance towards the unpardonable and heinous crime on ladies,” Himanta Biswa Sarma, the state’s high elected official, tweeted.

India’s Parliament is contemplating laws to boost the age for marriage for girls to 21 from 18, to carry it consistent with males and promote gender equality.

India’s Minister for Ladies and Youngster Growth Smriti Irani informed Parliament on Friday that the transfer would allow women to finish their training and obtain financial independence other than attaining bodily and psychological maturity.

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