Khap Panchayats want 'Hindu Marriage Act' to be amended

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Kurukshetra (Haryana), Apr 13 (ANI): The self-styled Khap Panchayats gathered in Kurukshetra on Tuesday and demanded that the 'Hindu Marriage Act' be amended.

They also protested the historic verdict of the Karnal Sessions Court, which awarded death sentences to the five accused and a life-term to the leader of a Khap Panchayat for the murder of a newly-married couple.

Representatives of at least 20 Khap Panchayats from Haryana challenged the court ruling and said they would raise money to help the killers of the newly married couple. They said they wanted the 'Hindu Marriage Act' to be amended, to include a law that bans marriages within same sub caste or the same village.

They issued the ultimatum and said they wanted a firm decision within two months.

Khap leaders said they would form a panel to protect their traditions and block traffic on the roads until they were satisfied about their demands being met.

Bainiwal (Haryana) Khap Pradhan Bhalle Ram said, "We will appeal the government to amend the Hindu Marriage Act. We are giving the government an ultimatum to effect these changes."

"Else, we will be compelled to tear the Constitution," he added.

Korada (Haryana) Khap Pradhan Abhay Ram said, "We refuse to acknowledge the courts, the Constitution which encourages the ruin of our society."

In a landmark judgement, the Karnal Sessions Court had delivered a guilty verdict against the six members on charges of kidnapping and murdering Manoj and Babli.

Khap Panchayat members had killed the two as they had married against their will.

Babli's brother Suresh, her uncles, Rajender and Baru Ram, her cousins, Gurdev and Satish, and village strongman, Ganga Raj, were declared guilty for the murders that took place in June 2007. (ANI)

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