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UP panchayats must stop social diktats: Akhilesh

July 16, 2012 13:43 IST

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has asserted that illegal social diktats by local village councils or community heads must stop.

"Such kind of incidents should stop. Secondly, everything is being done to rein in the law and order situation. The post holders who are not able to control the law and order situation will have to face action. And, if you give any such information, then action will be taken on it," Yadav told media persons on the recent diktats issued by village councils in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district.

Meanwhile, commenting on this issue, Congress party leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi said no organisation or individual has to right to pass laws eclipsing the Constitution.

"The role of the Panchayat (village council) has been stated within our laws. If the Panchayat goes ahead and disregards our Constitution and passes some judgement, then it should not be accepted. Such kind of things should be discouraged. If some individuals and some groups become the guardians of society and act above law, then it will be a dangerous situation," she said.

"As a woman, I feel that we know our rights. We know how far the dignity of a woman can go. Just because of a few individuals, the entire women society should not be isolated from the rest of the society and the world, and kept under restrictions. It is injustice, unfair and illegal and also against our Constitution," Joshi added.

A panchayat in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, had on Thursday asked women to cover their heads before leaving their homes. They also said women younger than 40, must not leave their homes after sunset.  

The Baghpat panchayat said they will not allow love marriages in their villages, and those who disobey, will be banished from the village.  

The passing of such diktats had evoked large-scale public outrage against them, with the village council challenging even district and state authorities over the issue.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had earlier criticized the Panchayat, saying that 'dictates have no place in democracy'.

"Dictates have no place in democracy. Police must act against anyone giving dictates," he said

Source: ANI