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Actor Rayya Labib welcomes order of Gauhati HC order to release all arrested under child marriage cases

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MUMBAI: Assam-born actor Rayya Labib welcomed the order of the Gauhati High Court in the crackdown against child marriages by the Assam government.

On Tuesday, the HC said there was no need to arrest the accused and the police could proceed with the cases against the accused without arresting them.

According to a news agency report, the court observed that arresting a large number of people in the crackdown against child marriage created ”havoc in the private life of people” and said there is no need for custodial interrogation of the accused.

The court also pulled up the Assam government for using stringent laws like the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) and rape charges on the child marriage accused, and said that these are ”absolutely weird” allegations.

The court allowed all the arrested accused petitioners to be released on bail with immediate effect.

These are not cases related to Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS), smuggling or stolen property, the court said.

”This (arrest) is causing havoc in the private life of people. There are children, there are family members, there are old people. This may not be a good idea to go for (arrests), obviously it is a bad idea,” the court said, while granting bail to all the accused.

Till February 14, over 3,031 people were arrested, most of them males and more than 4,004 FIRs were registered by the Assam government. In all the police had identified over 8000 cases of child marriages in the state.

Commenting on the order of the Gauhati High Court in the child marriages cases, Rayya said: “There is definitely an urgent need to act against this social evil. Child marriages must be stopped completely. But arresting thousands of men who are the sole earning members in their families and having small kids at home, will create problems far worse as the women will have to resort to illegal activities to feed their families if their husbands are in jail. I welcome the order of the High court to release all the arrested persons on bail in these cases,” Rayya said in her statement.

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