Amid outrage over a string of rape cases in Haryana, Khap panchayats in the state have come out with a bizarre suggestion that the marriageable age limit should be done away with, claiming it will check such crimes. The ruling Congress, on the other hand, saw a “conspiracy” in the incidents.
“Boys and girls should be married by the time they turn 16, so that they do not stray... this will decrease incidents of rape,” Sube Singh, a Khap representative, said. Another added: “As soon as children attain puberty, it is natural for them to have sexual desires but when these are not fulfilled, they stray... so there should not be any minimum age limit for marriage.”
The comments came a day after a teenaged Dalit girl immolated herself after being raped in Narwana area in Jind district — the 12th incident of rape in Haryana within a month. Four persons, including a woman, have been arrested in connection with the incidents.
Meanwhile, lashing out at the Hooda government, opposition INLD claimed the incidents reflected its failure on the law and order front. It will also submit a memorandum to the state Governor in Chandigarh on October 10 demanding dismissal of the Hooda government.
State Congress president Phool Chand Mullana, on the other hand, claimed that it was a conspiracy to malign the government. “Such incidents happened earlier also, we condemn them ... but no accused has been protected and all the culprits have been extended... I can say that this could be a conspiracy against the state government,” he said. “Who can tell where the next incident will take place, but wherever it has taken place, authorities have taken prompt action, so where is the question of law and order failure,” he added.
Meanwhile, concerned over teenaged girls being targeted, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Sunday stepped in seeking explanation from the state government in each case, including action taken against culprits.
“Ten girls have been raped so far. There have been molestation charges. Our Commission will ask them what has been done in each case. Have all the accused been arrested? What proceedings have been done?” NCPCR Chairperson Shanta Sinha said.
She added: “We feel that in Haryana, it is not the sole issue which is coming to limelight. You have seen the sex ratio as well. There has been only 830/1000 girls. Sinha also