Close on the heels of the much-criticised khaps' suggestion on legal marriage age of girls, a Jat body of Haryana on Tuesday termed government protection to runaway couples as "wrong and against the culture" and demanded immediate closure of such protection homes.
All India Jat Mahasabha leader Om Prakash Mann even described the practice of love-struck youngsters running away from their homes as a "crime". "Earlier, panchayats used to blacken the face of runaway couples and would oust their family from the village," he said. "Now, though they bring disrepute to their family, they are not punished."
"If government wants to put a check on rising crime against women, including rape, then khap panchayats should be given the status of Lok Adalats," he said.