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Khap duo: Marry at 16 to check rape

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 8.10.12

Chandigarh, Oct. 7 (PTI): Two khap panchayat members from Haryana have proposed abolition of minimum age limits for marriage to check increasing incidents of rape in the state.

“Boys and girls should be married by the time they turn 16, so that they do not stray... this will bring down the incidents of rape,” Sube Singh, a khap representative, said.

Another khap member echoed the view. “As soon as children attain puberty, it is natural for them to have sexual desires but when these are not fulfilled, they stray... so there should not be any minimum age limit for marriage.”

The seemingly bizarre solutions were offered a day after a teenaged Dalit girl immolated herself after being raped in Jind district, the twelfth such assault within a month. Only four persons, including a woman, have been arrested in connection with the incidents so far.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights expressed concern over teenaged girls being targeted and sought an explanation from the Congress government on the action taken.

Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda vowed not to spare the culprits. State education minister Geeta Bhukkal asked social organisations and khap panchayats to come forward to give a befitting reply to those who commit atrocities against women.

The Opposition Indian National Lok Dal said the crimes reflected the failure of law and order. But state Congress chief Phool Chand Mullana said such allegations were meant to malign the government. “Such incidents happened earlier also.”