Up to 2,666 people have been detained thus far in connection with cases involving underage marriages in Assam. The change occurred when the state's chief minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, ordered harsh punishment for those found guilty. Taking to twitter, the chief minister urged the general public to end the tradition of child marriage.
As of February 7, a total of 2,528 people from across the state were arrested for indulging in child marriage. More than 4,074 such cases have so far been registered. According to media report, those arrested also included 78 women.
In the meantime, temporary jails have been converted into the Matia transit camp in Goalpara and a stadium in Silchar to accommodate people detained on suspicion of either marrying females under the age of 18 or solemnising and encouraging such weddings.
Indian law prohibits child marriages as of November 1, 2007, when it became effective. Additionally, it defends and aids those who have been married off as children. The Muslim Personal Law, which permits underage marriages when this law forbids them, is unaffected by this, though.
In October 2017, the Supreme Court of India gave a landmark judgment criminalising sex with a child bride, hence removing an exception in India’s criminal jurisprudence which had until then viewed the consummation of marriage with a minor wife as legal.
The Act's main goal is to forbid child marriages as well as related and incidental problems. The Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929 was replaced by the Prevention of Child Marriage Act of 2006.