Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh: The village of Asaara in Baghpat is tense because of the camera crews and reporters that have lined up to talk to residents after their panchayat decided on Thursday to ban cellphones for women, along with unescorted walks in the evening.
This part of Uttar Pradesh falls within the constituency of union minister Ajit Singh; he has refused to comment on this all day.
The panchayat yesterday ruled that when women leave their homes, their heads must be covered. Women younger than 40 must not leave their homes at all after sunset.
"We completely accept the decision," said a villager named Musharraf. "If single girls walk in the village a lot problems are created."
The panchayat has said that it will ensure that couples who have court marriages are isolated. "People who want love marriages can move out of our village," said Mohman Khan, a member of the panchayat.
Young men have been told not to use hands-free sets for their cellphones.
An attempt by the local police to arrest those who organised the panchayat resulted in violence on Thursday night. Two policemen, who arrested two members of the panchayat, were brutally attacked while a police vehicle was set on fire. Angry villagers also blocked the national highway and damaged a bus. They even beat up the passengers, forcing the police to finally release the two leaders.
The Baghpat Police have now registered a case against 10 people, who were part of the panchayat as also the mob that assaulted the cops.
Story first published:
July 13, 2012 11:22 IST