Police book members of Haryana ‘khap panchayat’

Friday, February 5, 2010

ROHTAK - Police have booked unidentified members of Kheri village’s khap panchayat (council) in this Haryana district, after they directed a married couple to annul their marriage and start living as ‘brother and sister’.

After their six-hour meeting Jan 30, the khap panchayat directed Satish Berwal and Kavita Beniwal, to end their marriage because they were from the same gotra (sub-caste).

Police registered the case after receiving a written complaint from Kavita and her relatives against the panchayat members.

In her complaint, Kavita alleged that during the panchayat meeting some people insulted her father-in-law Azad Singh by stuffing a shoe into his mouth. She had threatened to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court if police did not take any action.

The couple married three years ago and they also have a 10-month-old son Ronak.

Sensing trouble, Satish’s family had sent Kavita to her parents’ house in Bhagi village in Jhajjar district last week.

“We have registered a case against unidentified miscreants. Our investigation is on and very soon we will identify and arrest the accused,” District Police Chief Anit Kumar Rao said here Friday,

He added: “We have already provided round-the-clock police protection to Satish Berwal’s family at their village in Kheri. We are keeping a close watch on the situation.”

The panchayat had also directed Azad Singh to disinherit his son from all property and belongings and deposit Rs.300,000 in the name of his grandson in a bank.

Haryana panchayats are known for many notorious decisions related to inter-caste marriages.

Amidst all these developments, a higher panchayat Meham Chaubisi has already come forward to rescue the couple and have called a meeting Feb 9.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

will not be displayed