Tuesday, May 25, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Khap body threatens to block Delhi



Khap body threatens to block Delhi

Indo-Asian News Service, Monday May 24, 2010, Jind (Haryana)

A "Sarv Khap Mahapanchayat" (all community council congregation) held
on Sunday threatened to boycott all MPs and assembly members from the
state of Haryana if they did not support the khaps' call for a ban on
the same-gotra marriages. They also threatened a blockade of Delhi.

At the meeting, which only a few hundred leaders and their supporters
attended, various khaps sought support from all quarters for a ban on
marriages within the same 'gotra' (ancestral lineage) and demanded an
amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act.

"If all MPs and MLAs (members of legislative assembly) in Haryana do
not support us in this matter, we will start their boycott from next
month," a khap leader announced.

Congress MP from Kurukshetra and billionaire industrialist Naveen
Jindal landed in a controversy earlier this month after he extended
support to the demands of the Khap panchayats.

Farmers' leader Mahendra Singh Tikait, who belongs to western Uttar
Pradesh, was also present at the meeting.

The khap leaders also gave an ultimatum to the central government to
amend the Hindu Marriage Act by June 19, failing which various khaps
in Haryana will block roads to New Delhi and also block supply of
water, vegetables and other wares to the national capital.

Khap Panchayats have been in the news for the wrong reasons in the
last five years after they started annulling the marriages of young
couples saying that they are "brothers and sisters" being from the
same 'gotra'. Khap decisions declaring several such marriages void
have led to murders of young couples by their families or other
community members - a clear case of honour killing.

Many couples and their families have also been socially boycotted and
forced to leave their homes and lands.

The demand of khap panchayats comes after a Haryana court gave capital
punishment in March to five people for an "honour killing".

A Karnal court sentenced the five people to death and one person to
life imprisonment for killing a couple who had married despite
belonging to the same gotra.

The murdered couple, Manoj, 23, and Babli, 19, were married in 2007
against the wishes of their families.

They were murdered by members of Babli's family.

Defiant khap leaders are headed for a confrontation with the state
government and the Punjab and Haryana High Court which has given
rulings over illegal decisions on marriages announced by various

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