Chautala backs Khap Panchayat's decision to marry girls early

      Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) President Om Prakash Chautala on Wednesday backed the Haryana Khap Panchayat's decision that marriageable age for girls should be reduced as this will help in curbing the increasing instances of rapes in the state. "A person learns from the past and chalks out the future. We should learn from the past... especially in Mughal era, people used to marry their girls to save them from Mughal atrocities and currently a similar situation is arising in the state. I think that's the reason khap has taken such a decision and I support it," he told mediapersons here.

Chautala, who met Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia at the Raj Bhavan here, briefed him about the rise in atrocities against women in the state and sought his intervention into the matter. "Recently, there have been a lot of atrocities against women in our state. There have been 16 incidents of gang rape and the maximum number of these untoward incidents have taken place with the Dalit girls. We briefed the honourable Governor about the latest happenings," he said. Chautala's remark came a day after Congress President Sonia Gandhi rejected the Haryana Khap Panchayat's suggestion.

"The country has a democratic system and an independent judiciary and the law is in the hands of judiciary and nobody else," she told mediapersons in Haryana's Jind District yesterday, where she met the family of a Dalit teenaged girl, who immolated herself after being allegedly gang-raped on Saturday. The Congress Government in Haryana-led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda has drawn flak from all quarters for its alleged failure to prevent incidents of crime against Dalits and women. 14 rape cases have been reported from the Congress-ruled state in the last one month.

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