The Baliyan council in Uttar Pradesh has banned unmarried women from carrying mobile phones to halt a series of illicit romances between partners from different castes, media reports said on Wednesday.
The council decided to act after at least 23 young couples ran away and got married over the last year against their parents' wishes.
"The panchayat was convinced that the couples planned their elopement over their cell phones," village elder Jatin Raghuvanshi told the
"All parents were told to ensure their unmarried daughters do not use cell phones. The boys can do so, but only under their parents' monitoring," said Satish Tyagi, a spokesman for the village assembly.
Caste discrimination is banned in India but still pervades many aspects of daily life, especially outside the cities.
Caste categories often determine Indians' life prospects, and conservative families will only marry within their own caste sub-division.