PATNA: With the onset of the wedding season, police officials in Bihar have been directed to remain alert to foil child marriages.
All the superintendents of police (SPs) have been directed to ensure it through their SHOs and other wings of law enforcing to foil child marriages in the state.
According to a UNICEF report, child marriages in India have declined but in a few states like Bihar, West Bengal and Rajasthan it continues to be in practice.
According to IG (Weaker section) of Bihar’s Crime Investigation Department (CID), Dr Kamal Kishore, a directive has been issued to all Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) and the Superintendents of Police (SPs) to alert the SHOs of their districts to keep a strict vigil in their areas during the marriage season to prevent practices of child marriages.
“It has been asked to keep special focus in and around the religious places like temples, marriage halls or other spots, wherein marriages are conducted. Child marriage is an offense and it must be checked at any cost,” the IG said.
The officers have also been asked to involve the chowkidars in tracing such illegal practice. “If a child is forcibly married anywhere in the state, take swift and stringent action as per the rule under the Child Marriage Prevention Act," the IG has asked through the letter to officials concerned.
According to the latest India Child Marriage and Pregnancy Report base on NFHS Data, about 20 per cent of girls in the age group of 15-19 in Bihar were married before they could attain the age of 17. According to an official source, more than 50 child marriages were prevented in last few months in Bihar.