More than 1,800 men were arrested in India in an operation that seeks to end child marriage

Indian men arrested underage marriage
More than 1,800 men were arrested in India in an operation that seeks to end child marriage (REUTERS)

the police of Assamnortheast of Indiastopped this Friday to more than 1,800 men in a mega-operation that seeks to dismantle the child marriage in the country. This widespread illegal practice there puts girls at great risk, who are often forced to marry in order to have greater economic security.

“Arrests are currently being made throughout the state against those who violate the provisions of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act. More than 1,800 people have been arrested so far,” the city’s head of government wrote on his Twitter account, Himanta Biswa Sarmawho specified, in turn, that the detainees include 52 cures and authorities with the power to formalize these marriages.

Himanta Biswa Sarma tweet
Himanta Biswa Sarma tweet

The operation began this Friday, one day after Sarma announced that the Police had registered 4,004 cases of child marriage in Assam alone in the last two weeks, which led to meetings with senior officials of the security forces to coordinate the action. In this sense, they also promised to continue working to combat this evil that afflicts Indian society.

“I have asked the police to act with zero tolerance against this unforgivable and heinous crime against women,” added Sarma.

Indian law prohibits from 2006 unions with minors especially harsh penalties for girls under the age of 14. In any case, the authorities have assured that it is not a campaign directed against a specific community and also mentioned that will persecute those who facilitate these actions.

Indian men arrested underage marriage
The operation was carried out after 4,004 cases of child marriage were registered in Assam alone in the last two weeks (REUTERS)

The figures for child marriage in the country are alarming. Only in Assam, almost a third of women between the ages of 20 and 24 were married before reaching the age of majority -most of them from rural areas-, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS5) for the period 2019-2021. This proportion was only surpassed by four other states in India and is far from the national average.

This practice not only puts at risk the physical and social development of women but, in turn, gives rise to all kinds of abuses and is responsible for the high rate of Child mortality -which stands at 36 per thousand births- and of the maternal deaths in the state -195 per 10,000 births-, according to data from the 2018-2020 birth registry. These numbers exceed, once again, the country average of 28 and 97 deaths, respectively.

That is why putting an end to this problem has become one of the priorities of the Government of Assam which, last JanuaryHe decided toughen laws against men marrying minors.

Child marriage is one of the major problems facing Indian society
Child marriage is one of the major problems facing Indian society

However, despite the efforts that have been made throughout the country for years, Unicef ​​has pointed out that there is still a lot of work to be done.

Despite the fact that the Indian Executive managed to reduce child marriages from 47% between 2005 and 2006 to 23.3% between 2019 and 2021, the UN agency warned that 223 million girls were married only in 2019, which it represents a third of the unions with minors in the world.

(With information from EFE, AFP and Europa Press)

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