Dibya Kamal Bordoloi
Guwahati: Kazi and Muslim layers in minority areas of lower Assam fueling the dangerous trends of child marriage amongst the migrant Muslims. Many such cases of child marriage came to light in Barpeta and South Salmara district of lower Assam. Barpeta police arrested 3 persons involved in child marriage in the Howly area of the district. Kasem Ali, father of a 15 years old minor girl and Baser Ali, father of the groom was trying to solemnize the marriage with a ‘pre marriage agreement’ prepared by an advocate.
Child rights activists filed a complaint in Howly police station knowing about child marriage. Police acting immediately found that Kasem Ali and Baser Ali was solemnizing the marriage on basis of the pre-marriage agreement. Both the fathers of the groom and bride made the agreement to keep themselves safe from the legal provisions. But police found in their investigation that the bride is only 15 years old and such an agreement can’t be applied to solemnize the marriage. Police arrested both Kasem and Baser Ali along with the groom Jahirul Islam. How police further investigating the matter. In another incident South Salmara police today arrested one Kazi who was trying to perform a child marriage. Police on specific input raided the marriage place in the Kalapani area of the Assam-Meghalaya border. The bridegroom and their family fled from the place knowing police presence, but police apprehended Kazi Maulana Ibrahim Ali. Kalapani police said that both the bridegroom are under age and the arrested Kazi was initiating the marriage.
A case has been registered against the arrested Kazi and the family of the bride and groom. In the last one month, Kalapani police have foiled 4 child marriages attempt in the area and arrested 10 persons involved in these cases. Police sources said that they are sensitizing people against the child marriage which is a punishable offence. But people don’t listen to this appeal. They further said that Muslim Kazis is fueling these child marriages. Child right organization working in lower Assam claims that hundreds of such child marriage incidents takes place in minority areas of lower Assam without the knowledge of the police and administration. Experts claims that early marriage is one of the major reasons of population blast and poor women-child health of migrant Muslims in Assam.