The Assam Cabinet on Monday decided to book men who marry girls below 14 years in the state under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
Assam has a high rate of maternal and infant mortality and the primary cause is child marriage.
The state has an average of 31 per cent marriages in the “prohibited age”, Sarma said at a press conference following the Cabinet meeting.
“Men marrying girls in the age group of 14-18, will be tried under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and necessary steps will be taken against them under this law,” the chief minister said.
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The police have been directed to conduct a massive crackdown against child marriage across the state, he said.
A Child Protection Officer will be appointed in every village and it will be the duty of the Gram Panchayat Secretary to file a complaint against any child marriage taking place in their area, Sarma said.
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