Bagpat: Less than an hour from Delhi, a panchayat in union minister Ajit Singh's constituency, has decided love marriages and unescorted walks in the evenings are off-limits for women.
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."
At a congregation of 36 clans in Baghpat, it was also decided that they will not allow love marriages in their villages, and those who disobey will be banished from the village.
"People who want love marriages can move out of our village,"said Mohman Khan, a member of the panchayat in the Asaara village in Baghpat.
Khaps are dominant institutions that are hard to defy. Villagers have no choice but to fall in line.
Story first published:
July 12, 2012 19:59 IST