Child marriage
Representative photo. Image credit - World Atlas

Officials of the district child protection unit (DCPU) with support of Goalpara police on Tuesday foiled a bid to marry off a minor girl of Bhalukdubi in lower Assam’s Goalpara district.

DCPU officials said they rescued the 17-year-old girl belonging to religious minority community from the house of a youth, who planned to marry her.

The family members of the 21-year-old youth had fixed his marriage with the girl after she arrived at the house of the boy, who is allegedly in love with her.

“Based on information received from the Childline about the marriage, we along with Goalpara police rushed to the house of the boy at Bhalukdubi on the outskirts of Goalpara town and stopped the marriage before it could be solemnised.  We have rescued the minor girl from the house of the boy,” a DCPU official told Northeast Now.

The girl along with her mother was produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to record her statement and she was sent to the children home at Goalpara, the official said.

The official further said that both Goalpara police and CWC will carry out a thorough investigation in connection with the case.

As per the Marriage Act at the time of marriage the bridegroom must have completed 21 years and the bride 18 years.

But in many villages in Goalpara, Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Kamrup and Kokrajhar districts, child marriages are going on every now and then under the very nose of the administration.

The main reason for parents marrying off children early is illiteracy and poverty.

Parents marry off their daughters at an early age, and by the time she becomes 18 or 19 she will be having two or three children.

Sofikul Ahmed

Sofikul Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in Goalpara. He can be reached at: dull.sofik@gmail.com

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