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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Muslim women told to give up mobile phones, market visits in Rajasthan village

Mukesh Mathrani, Hindustan Times  Barmer, February 09, 2014
First Published: 17:48 IST(9/2/2014) | Last Updated: 19:39 IST(9/2/2014)

A panchayat in a Rajasthan village has banned the use mobile phones for Muslim women and ordered them to take a male member of the family along while visiting public places.
The panchayat in Gagariya village in Barmer district, about 600km from Jaipur, passed the diktat after the meeting it said was organised to discuss "social evils".|

"Some members suggested tougher restrictions on women," said a villager who did not wish to be named.The panchayat also asked the Muslim women to wear burka not only during travel but even while stepping outside their homes."

Moulvi Habeeb, who headed the panchayat, told HT, "We have issued certain dos and don'ts and asked Muslim women to avoid going to public places alone. If there is some urgency, they should go with their male family members."

Habeeb said these measures have been taken after some villagers raised concerns about the "safety" of women.

It was learnt the pamphlets containing these "guidelines" were also distributed in neighbouring villages.

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