NHRC issues notices to Haryana Government on alleged diktats of Khap (Caste) Panchayats


New Delhi, July 31, 2009

The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports published on 17.07.2009 alleging that Kadyan Barha Khap (Caste) Panchayat delivered a verdict to Ravinder Gehlout of Dharan village, District Jind, Haryana to divorce Shilpa Kadyan as their marriage was in violation of social norms. The reports said that when the bride's parents rejected this verdict, the panchayat issued a diktat to the family to leave the village within 72 hours. In the circumstances, Ravinder desperately attempted to commit suicide and is reportedly under going treatment. It was also reported that the victims were leaving under threat of Khap Panchayat and the District Administration is not able to provide appropriate protection to them.

The Commission observed that the contents of press reports, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the victims and issued notice to the Chief Secretary, Haryana Government calling for a factual report within four weeks from the date of receipt of the notice.

The Commission has also taken suo motu cognizance of another such event involving the diktat of Khap Panchayat reported by media on 24.07.2009. The Panchayat disapproved the marriage of Ved Pal Mor of Matour village in Kaithal District who married a girl of his own sub-caste after eloping with her. The girl hailed from village Singhwal District Jind in the State. When Ved Pal, after obtaining an order from the Court, accompanied by police reached for the custody of his wife in Singhwal on 22.07.2009, he was lynched by the villagers. His family members had allegedly held police responsible for inaction.

The Commission observed that the contents of media reports, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the victims and issued notice to the Chief Secretary, Haryana Government calling for a factual report within four weeks from the date of receipt of the notice.

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