Millennium Post

Khap’s draconian diktat triggers tension in Greater Noida village

A Khap panchayat in a Greater Noida village has issued a diktat against the marriage of a boy belonging to the Bhadana Gotra of Gujjar community to a girl of the Naagar Gotra. The conveners of the panchayat, after the meeting, have asked the bridegroom’s family either to leave the village or to cancel the marriage as it will not be approved by the group. The panchayat has also cautioned police not to intervene in the matter following which no action has been initiated against the diktat, leaving the groom’s family imperilled. 

Powerful village councils have governed India’s rural landscape for centuries, keeping a conservative grip on rural society that not only clashes with the current more liberal attitudes towards women but also challenges the law of the land. Acting as de-facto courts for millions of Indians, they settle disputes on everything from land and cattle to matrimony and murder, helping maintain social order in a country where access to justice is slow and difficult for those who are uneducated and poor. 

According to the report, a Gujjar family belonging to Bhadana Gotra has been living in Gunpura village located near Buddh International Circuit. The family had fixed their son’s marriage to another Gujjar family from Naagar Gotra in Narauli village. As Gunpura has a majority of Naagar people, the move has irked them. The villagers have pressurised them to break the marriage claiming that a girl of the Naagars would never become the daughter-in-law of any family of a village where the Naagars are in majority. “Except one family of a different gotra, the village has Naagars and hence, the village’s gotra is the same as the latter. If a girl of the same category becomes daughter-in law, it will not be accepted,” said a participant of the Khap panchayat.

When the family refused to break the marriage, the Naagars called a panchayat of 27 villages where the victims’ family was ordered to leave the village or threatened to be thrown out forcibly. The matter was reported to the local police but they reportedly succumbed to the panchayat’s pressure. 

“We have fixed Ajay Kumar’s marriage with a Naagar girl and it is scheduled in the last week of the month. Now, the Khap has threatened us not to go ahead which is unfortunate. We are being victimised without any reason. Despite approaching the police, no action is being taken against the Khaps,” said a family member. The police said they have kept a tab on it. 

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