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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Khaps take U-turn on lowering marriage age for girls

Sat Singh, Hindustan Times  Sonepat, October 13, 2012
First Published: 16:47 IST(13/10/2012) | Last Updated: 21:27 IST(13/10/2012)

Two days after opposition leader and INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala backtracked from his statement on showing solidarity to khap panchayat statement on lowering the marriage age for girls, Sarv khap mahapanchayat on Saturday also took U-turn from their statement here in a meeting at Jat Dharamsala.


Sube Singh Samain, president of Samain khap and spokesperson of Sarv khap mahapanchayat confessed before representative of various khaps that lowering marriage age of girls was his personal opinion and not the idea promoted by khap panchayats.

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Defending his opinion on lowering the marriage age of girls, Sube Singh Samain said "As per Hindu Marriage Act, if a girl marries a boy after attaining the age of 16 years then the marriage is not invalid but parents can't marry their children before the age of 18 years".

Om Parkash Mann, the president of Jat mahasabha attributed the rise in crime against women especially rapes to the obscene content being broadcast by television and published in various magazine and media. He said that khap panchayats are being targeted by electronic and print media for no fault of theirs and every decision taken by such social panchayats are always shown in poor light by media.

He said that media should understand that the role of khap panchayats are to preserve the culture, traditions and promote brotherhood in society, not the other way round.

OP Dhankhar, the president of Dhankhar khap criticised the state government of not doing enough to push reform suggested by khap panchayat in Hindu marriage act, 1955.

He said "It is our culture that we marry our daughters and sisters outside the blood relations and brotherhood relations but nowadays young boys and girls marry within brotherhood by taking the law its shield".

Suggesting measures to stop unabated rapes in Haryana, he said "If such reforms are incorporated in the Hindu Marriage Act, then, rapes number would definitely go down".

Santosh Dahiya, president of women wing of khap panchayat and professor in Kurukshetra University slammed Sonia Gandhi of calling the Khap panchayats unconstitutional, she said "Khaps are there to solve problems of society and they have always played proactive role in solving complex problems though dialogues".

She said that 90% of social problems are solved at the helm of khap panchayats, which need to be appreciated and media must restrain before making any allegations on such social organisations.

Nafe Singh Nain, president of sarv khap mahapanchayat said "To discuss the issue further we would call a meeting of all community mahapanchayat and take opinion of other representatives and would pass a resolution on this issue".

Representatives of only Jat community attended the meeting at Sonepat on Saturday.

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