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Victim of child marriage restored to family, groom put behind bars

By Mayukh Goswami

MANGALDAI, March 16 - What could be termed as one of the most unfortunate incidents for a civil society in this present era of smart technology, District Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Darrang on Friday restored a minor girl, a victim of illegal child marriage, to her family in Baihata Chariali under Kamrup (Rural) district.

�The police produced the victim before us and we recorded her statement. Later, as per her desire, we handed her over to the family members,� said Rashmi Rekha Devi, one of the members of CWC while talking to this correspondent here.

Earlier, Sipajhar Police by registering Case No. 176/19 u/s 9/10 of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act 2006 arrested the accused Naresh Deka (31), s/o Sishuram Deka of village Devananda under Sipajhar PS and produced him before the court. The court remanded him to judicial custody till March 27 next.

�Legal action as per the law has been executed against the prime accused, the bridegroom of the illegal marriage as the girl was a minor, about six months less than the requisite age of 18,� informed SP Darrang, Amrit Kumar Bhuyan.

Similarly, Officer-in-Charge Inspector Chandra Kalita said that the girl was under-aged as per the records of her school certificate. It is reported that on Wednesday night, a team of the CWC, Darrang comprising its Chairman Rajen Chandra Das and members Purnima Goswami, Rashmi Rekha Devi and Ramesh Saikia by overcoming an adverse situation, rescued and restored the minor girl with the help of Sipajhar Police. This move by CWC, Darrang sent a strong message to the public that the child in conflict needs necessary care and protection and child marriage is a punishable offence.

Meanwhile, Purnima Goswami, another member of the CWC, Darrang believes that the issue is very delicate and their responsibility towards the victim with poor financial background is not yet over.

�We have observed that the girl child, who has been deprived of care of her mother since birth, still needs support from people like us so that the child doesn�t face any unfortunate experience in the near future. We have already established necessary contact with our counterparts in Kamrup Rural district in this regard and we will also try to keep in constant touch with her family for the next few months,� Goswami said.

It may be mentioned that with an aim to free Darrang district from the menace of child marriage, the DC Ghanshyam Das with support from the District Child Protection unit has recently taken up a series of public awareness meetings in some rural pockets of the district and has earned good public response.

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