Panchayat bans love marriage, bars women below 40 from shopping

A village panchayat in Bagpat district of Uttar Pradesh has banned love marriage, barred women below 40 years of age from going out for shopping and girls from using mobile phones on the streets.

The panchayat at Asara village in Ramala area has issued the diktats restraining women below 40 from going to markets and using mobile in the village or outside, official sources said.

The panchayat also ruled that when women leave their homes, their heads must be covered.

The diktats were issued during a meeting of the panchayat held yesterday.

The panchayat also banned love marriages and said those doing so would not be allowed to live in the village, the sources said.

Superintendent of Police Baghpat V K Shekhar said they have come to know about such diktats by the panchayat and ordered an inquiry by the district intelligence unit into the matter.

He said no arrest has been made in connection with the panchayat's directives and any action would be taken after getting the report of the intelligence unit.

Chidambaram deprecates panchayat diktats against women

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday deprecated the issuing of diktats against women by a 'khap' panchayat in Baghpat and said he expected the Uttar Pradesh government to take action against those who try to enforce such "illegal" orders.

"There is no place for such diktats in a democratic society. If such a diktat is being issued in Bhagpat, I would expect the state government to instruct the police authorities to ensure that nobody comes to harm for violating that diktat," Chidambaram said.

"That diktat has no legal authority and if anybody takes any action against a boy or girl saying that you are violating the diktat, action should be taken against the person who is trying to enforce these illegal codes of conduct. I would expect the state government to take action," he said.

Chidambaram was responding to queries on how he viewed the diktats issued by a panchayat in Asara village in Baghpat's Ramala area banning love marriages and barring women below 40 years of age from going out for shopping and using mobile phones inside and outside their homes, ordering women to cover their heads when they leave home.

"These kind of diktats by khap panchayats, fatwas, dress codes, according to me, they have no place in a democratic society," Chidambaram said.

"There are laws relating to obscenity. Those laws have to be obeyed. I don't think anyone can say what a boy-girl should wear and how they should talk to each other," the Home Minister said.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.