GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has stated that he is open for a debate with Islamic scholars on the issue of polygamy.

“I am ready for a debate with Islamic scholars on the issue of polygamy,” said Assam chief minister while speaking to reporters.

The Assam CM said: “According to Quran, in Islam, monogamy (being married to one person at a time) is a rule. However, polygamy is optional.”

He added that the whole idea of banning polygamy in Assam is “to let Muslim mothers and daughters live with dignity”.

“Our Muslim mothers and daughters should not get treated as second class citizens,” Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

The Assam chief minister further said that no crackdown on polygamy will be launched against the Muslim population till a law banning the practice is implemented.

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“Polygamy is still legal as far as Muslim laws are concerned. So there will be no crackdown till the time a law is passed,” Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

However, he added that if any Hindu person is found involved in polygamy, legal action against the same will be initiated.

For a Hindu or a person who practices Hinduism, polygamy is both prohibited and illegal, both under the Indian Law and as per the Hindu Marriage Act.

It is illegal for a Hindu to marry more than one person or keeping two spouses at the same time.

Earlier, the Assam CM had stated that the proposed ban on the practice of polygamy in the state is not aimed at any particular community.

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma also said that ban on practice of polygamy in Assam will be imposed before 2024.

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Meanwhile, the Assam government also constituted a four-member experts’ committee, which will submit its report on the proposed ban on polygamy in the state.

The committee formed by the Assam government will be headed by justice (retd) Rumi Phookan.

The panel will also have Assam advocate general Debajit Saikia, additional advocate general Nalin Kohli and advocate Nekibur Zaman as members.

The experts’ committee will “examine whether the state legislature is empowered to prohibit polygamy” in Assam.

The “committee will deliberate with legal luminaries, Islamic scholars and other scholars and submit its recommendations to the Assam government”.

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