Going the khap panchayat way a ‘mohalla’ panchayat in the city passed a resolution to ostracise a couple for marrying against the wishes of their families. The distressed couple has challenged the ‘decree’ in a court.
Tara Chand and Priya, belong to the same caste and are from the scheduled caste (SC) category, yet their families, particularly that of the girl, staunchly opposed the marriage. Due to opposition of their families, they solemnised their marriage in the Punjab and Haryana high court in March.
The court directed Hoshiarpur senior superintendent of police to ensure that no harm was caused to the life and liberty of the couple.
Meanwhile, a number of residents of Sutehri Khurd and family members of the couple held a meeting in a gurdwara and ‘unanimously’ passed a resolution that the couple would not be allowed to enter the ‘mohalla’ or meet anyone.
‘Whosoever maintains any relation with them, will face a boycott by the mohalla panchayat”, read the resolution. The so-called mohalla panchayat also directed the families to disinherit their wards. One of the signatories to the declaration was ward councillor Mohan Lal Pehlwan.
Tara Chand, who lives with his wife in a different locality, alleged that they were continuously being harassed. He claimed that their families and at least two members of the mohalla panchayat were instigated by the councillor to sign the social boycott verdict.
“I opposed Pehlwan in municipal elections as he had done nothing for the ward in his previous terms. He has maligned me out of vengeance”, alleged Tara Chand, stating that the verdict was a setback to his social standing.
Pehlwan refuted the charges and said that the resolution was passed with the consent of parents of the couple. “I was just invited to the meeting. I have no concern with their personal affairs”, he said. Tara Chand and his wife have challenged the mohalla diktat in a court, which has fixed hearing for July 18.