Assam Minister Defends Repeal of Child Marriage Law

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Assam Minister Defends Repeal of Child Marriage Law

Assam Minister Pijush Hazarika has criticized the characterization of the state cabinet's decision to repeal the Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act as "anti-Muslim." Hazarika questioned how repealing a law that allows for child marriage could be construed as discriminatory against the Muslim community. He urged Muslim leaders to prioritize the well-being of girls and oppose harmful social practices.

The decision has drawn criticism from some quarters. All India United Democratic Front leader Rafiqul Islam accused the government of targeting Muslims with this move, claiming that it lacked the courage to implement a Uniform Civil Code. He suggested that the repeal was an election ploy designed to polarize voters.

However, the Assam government maintains that the decision is aimed at prohibiting child marriage. The repealed law, enacted in 1935, permitted the marriage of young girls to adult males. The state cabinet has tasked District Commissioners and District Registrars with taking custody of registration records from the now-defunct Muslim Marriage Registrars. The government cited the law's obsolescence and its incompatibility with current societal norms as reasons for its repeal.