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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

AAP defends existence of Khap Panchayats

PTI  New Delhi, February 01, 2014
First Published: 21:08 IST(1/2/2014) | Last Updated: 21:11 IST(1/2/2014)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday defended the existence of the khap panchayats, but said it was opposed to any kind of decision given by them that violated the law of the land.

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Speaking to reporters here, senior party leader Yogendra Yadav said, "All castes tend to have their social organisations, which do internal dispute resolution.

"We certainly acknowledge the right of all such organisations to exist. They have a right to exist and perform a legitimate role because we do not want every social dispute to go to the court of law," he said.

Yadav, who plays a major role in formulating party's policy on crucial issues, said that the problem arose when the khap panchayats violated the law with their decisions.

"The problem arises when the dispute resolution is done through coercion...when the law of land is broken or when killings and murders are defended in the name of some adjectives like honour killing, etc.

We are absolutely unopposed to compromising any cohesion, violation of law or any killing," he added.

Slamming other political parties for succumbing to the khap panchayats, Yadav said that the AAP will not fall before the feet of these community organisations for the sake of votes.

"Other parties go and ask for vote, fall before their feet. They say even if there is a murder (order issued by the khap panchayat) we will keep quiet for a few days. AAP has not done this before or do not intend to do this in future," he said.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a recent interview, had said he does not see the need for banning khap panchayats or unelected all-male village councils that often endorse harsh treatment of women because they serve a "cultural purpose."


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