Khap panchayats in the state have come out with a bizarre suggestion that the marriageable age limit should be abolished and girls should be married off as early as possible to decrease incidents of rape.
"Boys and girls should be married by the time they turn 16-year-old, so that they do not stray... this will decrease the incidents of rape," Sube Singh, a Khap representative, said.
Another Khap member said, "As soon as the 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."
Women's groups have expressed their anger on such irresponsible comments by Khap panchayats. Women's organisations say it depicts medieval mind-sets of Indian society. The comments from members of the influential caste councils have been denounced across the country.
In recent times, a series of rape incidents have occurred in Haryana. In September, Haryana witnessed 10 rape cases.
Recently, a teenaged Dalit girl immolated self after being allegedly raped in Narwana area in Jind district.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has stepped into the matter. Members of NCPCR have sought an explanation from the state government in regard to administration's failure to put an end on rising crimes against women.
"Ten girls have been raped so far. There have been molestation charges. Our Commission will ask them what has been done in each case. Have all of the accused been arrested? What proceedings have been done?" NCPCR chairperson Shanta Sinha said.
"We feel that in Haryana, it is not the sole issue which is coming to limelight. You have seen the sex ratio as well. There has been only 830/1000 girls," she said.
She also stressed the need for a public awareness campaign in favour of girl children. "There should also be a fear amongst the ones who indulge in such activities. They should be punished so that the girls are safe," she said.