The panchayat leaders of a village in Rajasthan’s Karauli district have been accused of trying to force a 13-year-old girl into marriage with a middle-aged man.
A complaint submitted by Kailash Gurjar, a resident of Langah, to district collector Manoj Kumar Sharma claimed that the village panchayat threatened to ostracise him unless he gave his minor daughter’s hand in marriage to a 45-year-old man. He also sought police protection for his family, so they are not harmed.
Sharma then directed Rajpal Yadav, the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Sapotra, to take legal action against the people concerned.
Gurjar, who had approached the district collector with his wife, told HT that the panchayat leaders resorted to various kinds of pressure tactics to force the marriage. “They issued an order stipulating that nobody was to talk to me. The panchayat leaders also threatened to stop my water supply,” he said.
The Sapotra SDM said he has asked police to take legal action against the accused. “I also wrote a letter to Karauli superintendent of police Anil Kayal, asking him to take strict action against all the villagers involved,” Yadav added.
Gurjar said he was earlier forced to get his daughter engaged to the older man. However, he later had a change of heart. Annoyed by this, the groom called a panchayat meeting to pressurise the girl’s family.
Police protection has been provided to Gurjar’s family, Yadav said.