BHOPAL: The State government will soon increase marriage age of girls from existing 18 to 21 years. This would ensure over-all development of girls, said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan while addressing felicitation programme of ‘real hero’ of crime against women on Monday. The event marked start of 15-day programme to felicitate people who foiled crime specially against women.
Appreciating the role of police in curbing crime during lockdown, he said, “Crime rate dropped 15% to 50% across the state during lockdown.” Referring to marriageable age of a girl, the CM called for a discussion to fix the age of marriage. “I think 18 years is quite low to take up the household responsibilities. Besides, it also hinders overall development of the girl,” he said.
Sharing concern over high incidence of girls, boys and women going missing, he said that serious action was required in case of missing girls. Terming disappearance of girls a matter of concern, he said finding and recovering such girls should be a priority for police and administration. He called for developing a system that would maintain record of girl going out of district for work, job and any other issue. This would enable parents to file a complaint with police in case of need. He asked officials to develop a mandatory registration system for those going out of district for work. Stating that the number of girls going missing was double of boys the CM said that it showed that the disappearance of girls was not normal. He also spoke about new Religious Freedom Bill and its provisions, “If anyone is found guilty of luring and threatening a girl into marriage, he will be liable for 10 years imprisonment”.