After Sonia's warning, Khap gets support from Chautala

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Om Prakash Chautala
Chandigarh, Oct 10: A day after Congress President Sonia Gandhi had warned Khap Panchayat members of Haryana, senior opposition leader Om Prakash Chautala has expressed his support to influential caste councils on Wednesday, Oct 10.

Like Khap members, the leader of Indian National Lok Dal wants girls to be married off at an early age to avoid rape.

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."

On Tuesday, Sonia said that Khap cannot decide law.

"Khap cannot decide law, it is in the hands of the judiciary," said Sonia.

Sonia visited the state to meet victims of recent rape incidents. She assured them of strictest possible action against the culprit.

A day after Congress President visited Jind, a Dalit girl was allegedly gangraped in Kaithal on Wednesday. Two people have been arrested in the case, said a police official. This is the fourteenth case to be reported from state in last 30 days.

Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his government have been severely criticised for failing to provide security to the womenfolk of the state.

However, Sonia refused to comment on the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government. She said that rapes happen everywhere and are not restricted to Haryana alone. She added that strict action would be taken.

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