Chandigarh: Infamous for their unlawful social diktats, especially against women marrying within their gotra or clan, Haryana`s khap panchayats were Sunday asked by the state government to fight atrocities against women.
Haryana Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal urged social organisations and Khap panchayats "to give a befitting reply to those who indulge in atrocities against women".
Bhukkal was redressing grievances of people in Jhajjar district, 300 km from here. She said the state government was conscious of the dignity of all sections of society, especially women.
She said that Khap panchayats could play a major role in dealing with anti-social elements.
Haryana, which already has a skewed sex ratio of 877 females per 1,000 men, has seen a recent spurt in rapes. In less than one month, 12 rape cases have been reported from across Haryana.
Khaps are viewed as being primarily responsible for encouraging honour killings, caste and community segregation and passing strictures against those who do not follow traditional social customs.