After criticism, Chautala backtracks, denies supporting Khap

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Om Prakash Chautala
Chandigarh, Oct 11: After receiving widespread criticism for supporting Khap diktat on early marriage of the girl child, former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala tried to douse the controversy on Thursday, Oct 11.

Senior Indian National Lok Dal leader said he did not endorse Khap.

On Wednesday, Chautala said he wanted girls to be married off at an early age to avoid rape. He had expressed his support to influential caste councils in order to bring an end to rising rape cases in the state. In last 30 days, around 15 rape cases have been reported from the state.

Women's rights groups had expressed outrage over Chautala comments. They said that it was sad that a senior politician of the country was supporting medieval ideas of Khap.

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."

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