Khaps not to recognise love marriages, in which parents are absent

No inter-caste and same gotra marriages, unions within same village banned

Khaps in Haryana on Wednesday decided not to recognise love marriages unless the parents of both the bride and groom are present at the wedding. Besides love marriages, they will also not recognise inter-caste or same gotra marriages and marriages within the same village, as all this was not permitted under their customs.

Representatives of various khaps across Haryana took a decision in this regard in a state-level meeting held in Jind district. Leaders from districts including Jind, Kurukshetra, Rohtak, Fatehabad, Hisar, Kaithal participated.

This comes days before Khap representatives are to appear before the Supreme Court to present their views, following NGO Shakti Vahini moving court, seeking directions for Khaps to stop honour killings. Last week, the apex court had stated that before passing any order, it would like to hear the views of Khap panchayats on January 14.

"The Supreme Court has asked Khaps to put forth their viewpoint. Whatever Khaps have done till date, whatever is their role and what their jurisdiction, all will be submitted before the court on January 14. We will present the actual picture of Khaps before the Supreme Court. We will also file a defamation suit against NGO Shakti Vahini for presenting a wrong picture of Khaps," Khap leader Sube Singh said.

He added: "How could marriages within the same village be recognised? Boys consider girls of their village as sisters. Similarly, a boy and a girl belonging to the same gotra are brother and sister. Youngsters still run away from their homes and get married against their parents' wishes. All such marriages are not recognised in Khaps' eyes."

Another prominent Khap leader, Nafe Singh, said: "Earlier, people did not use to recognise Khaps, but now they have realised that we work without any considerations. While courts keep hearing cases for years, we decide a dispute within three days. What have we got to do with the government or law, if they do not recognise us? For many generations now, we had been following the same customs and have settled even murder cases."

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