Kurukshetra: Amid an outcry over their
diktats against marriages in same sub-castes, a grand assembly
of self-styled caste councils today struck a defiant note
vowing to fight in courts for the seven people convicted a
fortnight ago in honour killing of a couple in Haryana.
The meeting of representatives 36 caste-based councils
or `Khap panchayats` from Haryana, parts of UP, Rajasthan and
Delhi, demanded that the Hindu Marriage Act be amended to ban
marriages in the same sub-castes (gotras).
The assembly was convened in the wake of the landmark
verdict of a Karnal court on March 30 awarding death penalty
to five for killing Manoj (23) and Babli (19) in 2007 as they
had married in the same sub-caste. The head of a `Khap`
panchayat which had ordered the killing was sentenced to life
imprisonment while a driver who had kidnapped them was given
seven years jail.
The meeting denied allegations that the `Khap` had
issued "death warrant" against Manoj and Babli.
The `Sarv Jaati Khap Mahapanchayat` held in this
Haryana town, 84 kms from Chandigarh, offered every support to
those who fight the case for the convicts in higher courts.
Mahender Singh Tikiat, president of the Bharitya Kisan
Union (Tikiat), who presided over the assembly, and Yudhvir
Singh, general secretary of the All India Jat Mahasabha, said
their members would block the Grand Trunk road to press their