A Muslim woman in Assam’s Dhubri district was allegedly tonsured and beaten up for opposing her underage son’s marriage, reported The New Indian Express on Sunday. The police have arrested three women and are looking for several others involved.
The attack reportedly took place on October 2 at Boterhat village, but the matter came to light on Saturday after a video of the incident went viral. Scroll.in could not independently verify the authenticity of the clip.
According to the police, the woman’s 19-year-old son was forcibly married off to a minor girl by her second husband Mantu Sheikh. “Sheikh and family members of the girl’s family were unhappy with [Rashima] Bibi as she had registered a case in this regard in August and the some of the accused were arrested,” Dhubri Superintendent of Police Longnit Terong told the Hindustan Times.
He said members of the girl’s family tonsured Bibi’s head, removed her clothes and poured hot water on her. In the video, several bystanders could be seen filming the attack on Bibi but no one offered to help. Bibi was admitted to a hospital in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district.
Last month, the Assam government told the Assembly that there have been 317 incidents of child marriages in 2017-’18 – a sharp rise from 96 in 2016-’17 and 32 in 2015-’16. Nine districts in Assam are among the top 100 districts in the country with high incidents of child marriages. Dhubri ranks 17 in the list, according to a report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
The legal age for marriage for men in India is 21, and 18 for women.