Ex-CM’s U-turn on marriage age: Media misquoted

A day after supporting Khap panchayats on reducing the marriage age of girls to prevent sexual harassment and rape cases,former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala on Thursday took a U-turn,denying that he or his party supported the idea.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: April 17, 2014 6:13 pm

A day after supporting Khap panchayats on reducing the marriage age of girls to prevent sexual harassment and rape cases,former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala on Thursday took a U-turn,denying that he or his party supported the idea.

“If some Khap or individual has made suggestion about girl’s marriageable age,then it is up to the government to accept it or not. Anybody can give suggestion,” the INLD chief said.

“But let me make it clear that we never supported such idea in form of any demand,suggesion or decision.”

The INLD leader had on Wednesday backed the suggestion of Khap Panchayats that marriageable age of girls should

be reduced to 16 years to prevent them from straying. He claimed to have been misquoted.

“What I said was that during the Mughal era,girls were picked up and raped. In order to avoid such incidents and embarrassment to families,girls’ parents used to get their daughters married at an early age,” Chautala said.

On Wednesday he had said that 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.”

Chautala said his party was concerned over the rising number of rape cases and that is why the INLD has submitted a memorandum to the Haryana Governor demanding a special session of the Assembly to discuss the issue.

5-yr-old ‘raped’ in Gurgaon

Gurgaon: A five-year-old girl is battling for life after she was allegedly raped by a neighbour at Laxman Vihar in Sector 5,Gurgaon,on Thursday. Doctors at the hospital where she was admitted said the “girl’s condition is critical”. The girl’s parents are from Bihar. Police said the neighbour lured the girl with a chocolate,took her to a nearby home and raped her. Residents of the area,however,alleged that there were two men involved in the crime. They said they barged into the house after hearing shrieks of a small girl and caught the main accused. The residents said another man was involved in the crime and he managed to escape while the girl was being rescued. Police denied the presence of a second man. The neighbour was handed over police,while the girl was immediately taken to the civil hospital. “We will not conduct the medical examination to confirm rape until her condition improves. She is undergoing treatment and her condition is critical,” a doctor said.

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