Bihar panchayat bans use of mobile phones by girls

Girl mobile

After a panchayat in Kishanganj district imposed fine on women using cellphones last month, another one in Siwan district has banned use of mobiles and wearing short dress by school and college girls.

The ruling was adopted at a meeting of Siswa Kala panchayat under Hasanpur police station yesterday to stop crime against women, Sarpanch Vijaykant Kunwar said.

The sarpanch said the ruling followed the demand of some women members and parents as, according to them, excessive use of mobile for listening to music and talking to men and wearing of short clothes by school and college girls led to crime against women.

He, however, said there was no provision of imposing penalty on those violating the order. "Parents shall ensure implementation of this order on their own," the sarpanch said.

Panchayati Raj Minister Bhim Singh said the government did not have any objection to people deciding social code of conduct for themselves.

"The government will take action if such decisions are imposed on people in violation of their civil rights and in contravention of laws," Singh said.

The district administration, however, ordered an inquiry into the order of the panchayat.

"Nobody has the right to issue such an order. We will investigate the matter," District Magistrate Gopal Meena said.

Superintendent of Police Satyabir Singh said the DSP (Sadar) has been entrusted with the task to inquire about the order of the panchayat.

The dictat came a month after Sunderwadi panchayat of Bihar's Kisanganj district had given an order that girls using mobile phones would be fined Rs 10,000.

The decision followed incidences of married women of the minority-dominated area under Kochadham block eloping in the recent past with their paramours.

A ban on use of mobiles was imposed by a panchayat of Dausa in Rajasthan in November and in Uttar Pradesh in July last year.

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