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Assam govt fails to realize: child marriage, underage pregnancies social than legal issue

The National Federation of Girls Islamic Organization (NFGIO) statement on Assam government's “women-friendly arrests”, stating, indiscriminate arrests are not a solution to child marriage:

Laws must be accompanied by a comprehensive approach with policy and programs focusing on redressal and not mere punishment. Most of the people arrested for child marriage belong to the socially, economically, and educationally weaker sections. This action has put a question mark on the future of their women and families which has also led to them protesting.
More than 4000 FIRs were filed overnight and more than 3000 were arrested, most of them belonging to the Muslim community. The CM has asked the Assam police to ‘act with zero spirit of tolerance’ against this unpardonable and heinous crime against women. Child marriage is indeed abhorrent and must be addressed urgently. However, this issue was never discussed by the ministry in the past 20 years. Student bodies that intended to initiate awareness campaigns received limited or no support. By the time survey was conducted most of the couples were already parents or expecting.
What the government fails to realize is that child marriage and underage pregnancies are more of a social issue than a legal one. The communities which have been historically deprived of standard living conditions were forced to choose parallel methods to protect and safeguard their children. They have little to no knowledge about legislation such as POCSO or the Prevention of Child Marriage Act. The women here are dependent in every aspect on the men in their family, incarcerated by the state. The current move of the state will further exacerbate or create numerous new social, economic, and humanitarian issues at large.
NFGIO urges the government must hear the pleas of the protesting women. Wellsettled families shouldn’t be uprooted. Leaving women and children respiteless is by no means a fair move. The Govt. must join hands with NGOs and student bodies and come up with a comprehensive, holistic, and poor-friendly approach to this menace. It must see to it that the focus of this move is on soothing the scars, not on throttling lives. Long-term development and education-oriented moves are urgent and much appreciated. Impartial steps in the field of education and reform must be taken.



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