Going a step further, the panchayat of Thakur-dominated Ghori Bachera village, not far from the national capital, has also formed a team to execute its orders. The couple, Javed and Shaista, have gone into hiding fearing for their lives. The panchayat has asked the maternal uncle of the girl Mehendi Hasan to produce the lovers before it. “The panchayat has been putting pressure on me to bring the couple to the village and has asked me not to return until I implement their orders,” Hasan said.
Javed said the panchayat was angry over their marriage as it felt that it had brought a bad name for the entire village. “I have come to know that the panchayat has ordered that our eyes be gouged and we be shot dead,” a terrified Javed said.
Javed and Shaista were neighbours in Ghori Bachera village. They fell in love and eloped from their homes and got married in the court a few days ago. Surprisingly, members of the couple’s families, according to Javed, were not part of the panchayat’s decision. “They (families of the boy and girl) are neither in favour of the marriage nor against it,” he said. “We are scared and need security,” Shaista said. There is no reason for the panchayat, whose members do not belong to their community, to interfere in the matter.
Meanwhile, the police said they are looking for the couple and will provide them with security. A case has also been registered against some of the members of the panchayat, they added. Recently, in the Jat-dominated western Uttar Pradesh, where honour killings for marrying against the wishes of the family are quite common, the all powerful “khaps” (caste panchayats) had announced that they will not allow love marriages nor a marriage within the same clan.
- Khaps shouldn’t be allowed to have their way (honourcrimes.wordpress.com)
- Unlawful interference of Caste Panchayats etc.with marriages in the name of honour: A suggested legislative framework / Call for suggestions (honourcrimes.wordpress.com)
- Reservation for Women in Panchayats (equalityindia.wordpress.com)
- Centre’s retreat on ‘honour killing’ (honourcrimes.wordpress.com)