'We will stop producing girls if our traditions will be questioned'

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Right after a day when the apex court harshly came down on Khap panchayat and asked the Centre to take the stand to protect inter-faith and inter-caste couples, khap leaders have threatened to "not give birth to girls at all" if the judiciary passes judgments on their traditions, as per media reports.

"We do respect the SC but cannot take such decisions on interference in our age-old traditions. If these kinds of orders are passed by the Supreme Court, we will stop producing girls or won't let them study so much that they start taking their own decisions. Just think, what will happen to society if girls become lesser and lesser in numbers?" The Times of India quoted Naresh Tikait, head of Balyan Khap, as saying.

The report quoted Rajbir Singh Malik, head of Malik Khap, as saying, "Maybe the Supreme Court has taken this stand influenced by the vulgar exhibition of modernity in cosmopolitan cities, but they must understand that village life is different, and we are bound by our traditions."

On Monday, Chief Justice Dipak Mishra said, "If people decide to marry, they are adults and you are nobody to interfere," in response to a plea seeking to ban khap panchayats and establish guidelines regulating their authority, Livemint reported.

(With agency inputs)


Ankit death case: Kejri promises kin all legal help

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City Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday assured Ankit’s family of all legal help, a 23-year-old professional photographer, who was allegedly stabbed to death by his girlfriend’s family.

During his meeting with the parents of the victim, the chief minister expressed grief over the horrific incident, spokesperson said.

“Our CM has also promised all legal help in punishing the culprits, along with best medical treatment to Ankit's mother who fell ill after Ankit’s demise," he further added.

His girlfriend's family was against her relationship with the Ankit, a photographer who belonged to different communities.

All accused, girl’s father, mother and uncle have been arrested in connection with the murder and her minor brother has been apprehended.

City BJP chief Manoj Tiwari also visited to the family on Saturday had asked about the CM’s silence in the  matter after which CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that he had spoken to father of the victim.


Inter Caste Marriage

Inter-faith/caste marriage: Nobody should interfere if the 2 ready to marry says SC

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The Supreme Court of India on Monday firmly stood on the decision on "inter-faith/caste" marriages, says "no one should be allowed to interfere in marraige of two consenting adults."

A three judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice DY chandrachud and Justice AM Khanwilkar said, "Where two consenting adults agree to enter into matrimony, no individual rights, group rights or collective rights shall interfere therein or harass the couple," 

When the lawyer appearing for Khap Panchayats (Caste Panchayat) objected over marriages between Sapindas (same gotra marriage), said that they are considered siblings, the CJI retorted countered, "Who are you to interfere?"

"Don't be conscience keepers. If two adults want to get married nobody should interfere," said the Court.

The hearing comes at a time when Delhi is till recovering from the shock over the killing of a 23-year-old Ankit Saxena by the family of his Muslim girlfriend.

The murder was raised before the judges, but the CJI said immediately, "Do not get into it. That case is not before us," reported NDTV.

Earlier, while hearing the same petion, the apex court had termed as "absolutely illegal" any attack by khap panchayats or associations against an adult man and woman opting for inter- caste marriage.

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The apex court had sought suggestions from an NGO 'Shakti Vahini', amicus curiae and 'Khap Panchayats' on the issue.

Khaps are caste or community organisations in villages which at times act as quasi-judicial bodies and pronounce harsh punishments based on regressive and age-old customs and traditions. The NGO had moved the top court in 2010 seeking directions to the central and state governments to prevent and control honour crimes by taking a number of measures.

The apex court had also invited 'Khap Panchayats' to hear their views before issuing any order to stop them from harassing and killing couples and women in the name of honour.

The Centre had pleaded with the apex court to put in place a mechanism to monitor crimes against women by Khap Panchayats, as the police was not able to protect women facing ordeal at their hands. The top court had also said that as a pilot project, it would examine the situation in three districts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh where Khap Panchayats were active.

(With agency Inputs)


Parents force daughters for household duties: NCPCR

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Many from the adolescent girls are not sent to educational institution due to their parents are in favor of keeping them at home for household duties, says a report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights' (NCPCR).

A question has been raised over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambition of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, why due to gender discrimination the state of girl's education in the country remains bleak?

The report also said that around 40 percent o adolescent girls between the 15-18 age group are not going to any educational institute from which mostly are stuck in household activities, dependent and engaged in many other bad things. While referring to the study, very less percent of the out-of-school boys are non-workers, said News18.

According to this India Today report, around 2.5 crore children, especially adolescent girls, are not involved in any of the schemes run by the government.

The Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls is the only scheme, at present that provisions vocational as well as skill development of out-of-school adolescent girls, added the report.

Our Prime Minister’s objective of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative was to prevent of gender-biased sex-selective elimination, ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.

However, it has not done much in favor of girls in terms of increasing enrollment rate of adolescent girls in the country.

Jammu And Kashmir

4 army personnel died, 4 hurt in Pak shelling, school to shut for 3 days

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Out of eight, four army personnel including a young captain were killed and 4 are severely injured during a heavy Pakistani shelling today in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

All the army personnel were giving the apt reply during the tough exchanges, however when Pakistani opened unprovoked heavy firing and shelling along the LoC in Bhimbher Gali sector of Rajouri district, three jawans were killed in the shelling, senior Army officials told PTI.

A 22-year-old captain, a resident of village Ransika in Haryana's Gurgaon district, was killed in the shelling 6 days before his birthday, Army officials said.

Forty two-year-old Havildar Roshan Lal, resident of Samba district, 27-year-old Riflemen Ramavatar of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and Subham Singh (23) of J&K's Kathua district were also killed, he said.

"Martyrdom of Indian Army soldiers will not go in vain. The unprovoked action by the Pakistan Army will be given a befitting response," an official said.

Earlier in the day, two teenagers and a jawan were injured in Shahpur sector of Poonch district in shelling from across the border, a police official said.

He identified the injured civilians as Shahnaz Bano (15) and Yasin Arif (14), residents of Islamabad village.

A defence spokesman said the Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatic weapons and mortars around 1110 hours. The Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively, he said.

In another ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Rajouri district, a police official said six mortars exploded near Neaka Panjgrain and Tarkundi villages in Manjakote sector around 1540 hours.

The mortars were fired by Pakistani troops and the Indian forces guarding the LoC responded, triggering an exchange of fire between the two sides, he said.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed pain at the deaths due to Pakistani shelling along the LoC. "My condolences to the families of the deceased," she said.

Authorities in Poonch issued an advisory asking people to stay inside their homes.

Following the ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri, all schools in the district have been closed as a precautionary measure.

The District Collector of Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary told ANI on Sunday, "In wake of ceasefire violation, we have closed all 84 schools as a precautionary measure and have pressed into action our emergency evacuation teams."

Chaudhary informed that relief camps have also been established to shift people there in case of an emergency.

"All 84 schools located in 0-5 km from the LoC stretch from Sunderbani to Manjakote shall remain closed for the next three days," Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal said.

Officials said the situation was very tense as firing and shelling by Pakistani troops continued round-the-clock.

In January alone eight civilians and six security personnel were killed and around 70 injured in ceasefire violations by Pakistan troops along Indo-Pak border in Jammu region.

Pakistani troops carried out intense shelling along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts and LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts from January 18 to 22.

While there were no ceasefire violations by Pakistan reported along the IB since January 22, intermittent shelling has taken place along the LoC.

With Agency Inputs