Support for Khap Panchayats swells

Last Updated: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 20:18

Khaithal/New Delhi: After their threat to
lay siege to his house, Congress lawmaker Navin Jindal today
attended a Khap Mahapanchayat in Khaithal as support for the
caste councils swelled with INLD supremo O P Chautala backing
their demand for a ban on marriages within the same lineage.

Chautala, the former Haryana Chief Minister, met Home
Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi and requested him to amend
the Hindu Marriage Act with a view to banning marriages within
the same lineage or clan.

"We are opposed to inter-caste marriages which are not
right scientifically and medically. The INLD was the first to
support this view," he told reporters.

Notorious for their diktats prohibiting wedlocks within
the same clan or villages, the Khap panchayats, often flayed
for handing out medieval justice, yesteday received support
from Congress MP and industrialist Navin Jindal.

Jindal told a Mahapanchayat in Kaithal today that he
would vigorously take up their demands with the Congress High
Command and Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in Haryana.

His assurance came after the Mahapanchayat handed over
a memorandum to him listing their demands.

Jindal, who is elected to Lok Sabha from Kurukshetra,
yesterday showered praise on the Khap panchayats for rendering
yeoman service to society by resolving people`s problems even
before the present day system came into existence.

In a letter to Khap representatives, he acknowledged
the existence of these panchayats since the time of great
rulers like Ashoka and Harshvardhan and said these had always
given a new direction to society.

On Jindal observations vis-a-vis Khap panchayats, the
Congress said it was an expression of opinion by an honourable
Member of Parliament and there was no change in the party`s
stand on the matter.

"The Congress` stand is crystal clear. No customary
law or practice can possibly be excused or condoned in any
manner if it involves killing of any kind in the name of
honour, tradition or heritage," spokesman Abhishek Singhvi
told reporters here.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 20:18

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