Rajasthan: To pursue studies,girl defies panchayat

Files FIR against decree to ostracise kin

Written by Express News Service | Jaipur | Published: June 11, 2013 3:55 am

A 19-year-old girl from a remote village in Barmer,Rajasthan,stood up for her right to pursue higher education and refused to get married immediately,drawing the ire of the local caste panchayat which issued a decree to ostracise the family. Refusing to buckle under pressure,the girl filed a police complaint against five members of the caste panchayat and an investigation is being carried into the incident.

Chaini,a resident of Bhuka Bhagat Singh village in Barmer,was engaged to Varja Ram of neighbouring Hodu village three years ago. When her in-laws started pressuring her to get married,Chaini politely turned them down asking for time to pursue her education. Though initially her family too coaxed her to get married,she managed to convince her father Junja Ram eventually.

However,the village caste panchayat held a meeting at the local government school premises and asked Junja Ram to solemnise the marriage as soon as possible. When Chaini’s family refused to go ahead,the caste panchayat took offence and issued a decree to ostracise the family. Chaini reported the matter to the local police station at Sindhari and an FIR was lodged.

Rahul Barhat,Superintendent of Police,told The Indian Express,“An FIR has been lodged and the matter is being investigated. We have to first establish that the facts narrated by the victim are true after which we can initiate any action against the accused.”

Barhat said that the five accused in the caste panchayat have been bound by the magistrate,a legal procedure in which the accused are warned that if any harm is done to the girl they will be held responsible. If found guilty,the accused will be booked for threat and extortion,he said.

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