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Chidambaram slams ban on women from shopping in UP village

July 13, 2012 16:50 IST
Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday deprecated the issuing of diktats against women by a 'khap' panchayat in Baghpat and said that he expected the Uttar Pradesh government to take action against those who try to enforce such "illegal" orders.

"There is no place for such diktats in a democratic society. If such a diktat is being issued in Bhagpat, I would expect the state government to instruct the police authorities to ensure that nobody comes to harm for violating that diktat," Chidambaram told the media.

"That diktat has no legal authority and if anybody takes any action against a boy or girl saying that you are violating the diktat, action should be taken against the person who is trying to enforce these illegal codes of conduct. I would expect the state government to take action," he said.

Chidambaram was responding to queries on how he viewed the diktats issued by a panchayat in Asara village in Baghpat's Ramala area banning love marriages and barring women below 40 years of age from going out for shopping and using mobile phones outside their homes.

"These kind of diktats by khap panchayats, fatwas, dress codes, according to me, they have no place in a democratic society," Chidambaram said.

"There are laws relating to obscenity. Those laws have to be obeyed. I don't think anyone can say what a boy-girl should wear and how they should talk to each other," the home minister said.


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