Having taken a U-turn over the issue of lowering the marriageable age for girls to curb growing incidents of rape in the state, Haryana's Khaps have now demanded that the state government impose a ban on weddings at night.
At a meet of the Haryana Sarv Khap Panchayat (community councils' meet) held Sunday, a resolution was passed asking the state government to impose a ban on weddings at night as these were leading to accidents and other crimes.
Hardeep Singh, president of Rohtak Khap-84, said, "Weddings at night are one of the major reasons behind the rising incidents of road mishaps in Haryana as youths dance with the DJ after consuming liquor in these weddings and then drive their vehicles at high speed, leading to road accidents. Hence, marriages at night should be prohibited to bring down the rate of accidents."
Om Prakash Dhankar, president of Dhankar Khap, who coordinated the Khap meeting, said, "A delegation of various Khap panchayats will meet Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda soon and demand a ban on weddings at night."
Dhankar said all the Khaps have also been asked to pursue the issue at their own level by restricting the weddings at night in their respective areas.
"Now Khap representatives will visit villages of their area concerned to persuade people not to solemnize marriages of their wards at night so that rising rate of road accident could be brought down after restraining the youths from consuming liquor," he said.
Over 200 representatives of around 50 Khaps across the state attended the meeting.
The meeting also passed a resolution seeking an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act to impose a ban on marriages within the same gotra (clan) and the same village.
"The Sarva Khap Panchayat is firm on its demand to seek an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act to make the same gotra and same village marriages as illegal. It will also take an initiative to create an awareness regarding the negative fallouts of such marriages," said Hardeep Singh.
The Khap leaders at the meeting said when amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act could be made for Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Punjab, why this could not be done in Haryana.