Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui, TNN, Nov 24, 2010, 05.44am IST
LUCKNOW: Disturbed by a spate of honour killings and same-gotra marriages in Western Uttar Pradesh, a khap panchayat has prohibited girls from using cellphones.
The panchayat of Lakh village in Shamli area of Muzaffarnagar, about 100 km from the national capital, has held mobile phones responsible for the spike in elopements and marriages without the sanction of community elders.
The decision has not only triggered angry reactions from women's groups, but also from some women of the village.
Among the village women, there have been others and some regional political organisations that have openly backed the panchayat. Reports from Muzaffarnagar said the Lakh khap took the decision in line with the draft finalised at the All Khap Mahapanchayat (AKM) at Sauraum on November 14 on measures to check same-gotra marriages."It was merely an extension of what has already been approved by the community at the Maha Khap,"Gajendra Singh, a member of the panchayat and a local Bhartiya Kisan Union leader, said.
Apart from the use of cellphones, the khap issued directives to ensure that girls of the community do not wear tight clothes or dance on a stage during parties or celebrations even at home. Students of a girls' degree college close to Lakh are believed to be preparing to take up the issue with the khap claiming that any such ban would cause problems for the girls. "That should mean that such marriages and love affairs did not take place when mobiles were not there? Clearly that is not the case," said a student. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-11-24/india/28252095_1_khap-panchayat-mobile-phones-gotra