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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

A year on, khaps continue to sit on female foeticide issue

Sat Singh , Hindustan Times  Rohtak, August 25, 2013
First Published: 19:30 IST(25/8/2013) | Last Updated: 19:31 IST(25/8/2013)

It has been more than a year that the khap mahapanchayat had pledged to fight female foeticide after passing a resolution at Bibipur village of Jind district, but nothing has been done till date.

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Under attack from all quarters after the murder of runaway couple Manoj-Babli in 2007, the khap panchayats had attempted an image makeover by holding a mahapanchayat of 112 khaps at Bibipur on July 14, 2012.

Representatives of khaps from Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh participated in the gathering. After the successful culmination of this mahapanchayat, the state government had also given Rs. 1 crore to the village to spread awareness regarding the issue.

Exalted over the media attention to the congregation, the khaps had announced to fight female foeticide and had formed an 11-member committee of khap representatives to curb the menace.

“A year has passed since the committee was formed, but neither any meeting of khap representatives has taken place nor have they discussed ways to counter it,” said Bibipur sarpanch Sunil Jaglan.

Talking to HT, he said: “Our goal is to stop the social evil and we are doing our bit. The khaps might have passed a resolution to check the menace in Haryana, but the ground reality is something different.”

On the khap committee's work on female foeticide, Sube Singh Samain, spokesperson for the sarv khap mahapanchayat, said: “The committee constituted at Bibipur village might not have worked for female foeticide, but otherwise khaps have played a vital role in spreading awareness against the issue.”

An expert on khap issue said: “People with strong patriarchal mindset rule the roost at khap panchayats in the state.”

Citing an example, he said: “Women never have a say in khap proceedings. These representatives never raise their voice or rather suppress the voice of girls' rights according to the constitution in parental property.”

Professor DR Chaudhry, who is an authority on khap issue, said: “In history, there is not even a single instance of khaps taking action against offenders of female foeticide or dowry practices.”

Khap Panchayat, female foeticide,runaway couple, Manoj-Babli,Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar

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