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For breaking an egg, Khap forces 5-year-old girl to stay in hut for 10 days

A Dalit village council (khap panchayat) in Rajasthan’s Bundi district forced a five-year-old girl from the community to stay in a hut outside her house as punishment for breaking an egg of a bird considered sacred.

jaipur Updated: Jul 11, 2018 22:23 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times, Kota
Khap Panchayat,Dalit Khap,Outcast
The girl broke the egg of a red-wattled lapwing at her school in Bundi’s Haripura village on July 1.(HT File)

A Dalit village council (khap panchayat) in Rajasthan’s Bundi district forced a five-year-old girl from the community to stay in a hut outside her house as punishment for breaking an egg of a bird considered sacred.

Khusboo broke the egg of a red-wattled lapwing at her school in Bundi’s Haripura village on July 1. Her mother, Meena, 30, said the council was convened when the villagers came to know about it a day later.

She said the khap ordered them not to let Khusboo enter the house for three days and keep her in a hut in the backyard for breaking the egg.

Meena said the punishment was extended to 11 days when the girl’s father, Hukumchand Regar, 35, a daily wager, confronted the khap and refused to accept the diktat.

Khusboo’s family was eventually forced to distribute five-kilogram namkeen (snacks) and grams in the village as part of a ritual for pardon.

Rajasthan police circle inspector Lakshman Singh said they have not acted since they did not receive any complaint from the family. He added the matter had been resolved.

Ornithologist and Kota’s former honorary wildlife warden R S Tomar said red-wattled lapwing is considered sacred in rural areas since villagers make guesses about monsoon as per the birds’ egg-laying patterns. “If these birds lay eggs at an elevated place, it is considered a sign of good monsoon.” He said the birds lay eggs from March to August.

The population of the species is unknown in India but it is not threatened. Religious beliefs have helped protect the species.

Mahaveer Regar, 28, a Haripura resident, said the village has a tradition of punishing anyone found guilty of killing a cat or breaking eggs of red-wattled lapwing, pigeon or peahen.

First Published: Jul 11, 2018 22:23 IST