Lovers elope, panchayat serves ultimatum to family in UP

Boys family to be banished from village if it fails to produce girl

A caste panchayat has served an ultimatum to a family in Uttar Pradesh’s Jat dominated Baghpat district after a youth allegedly eloped with a girl of the same village.

The panchayat, convened a few days back in Santoshpur village, has warned the family of the youth that it will be banished from the village if it failed to produce the girl within a couple of days.

A Dalit girl had allegedly eloped with her lover, who also hails from the same community, a fortnight ago. The girl’s family members alleged that the youth had abducted her. They insisted on convening a panchayat, which decided that the youth’s family will have to produce the girl.

“If the family fails, it will be thrown out of the village and will not be allowed in until the girl returns,” said Budh Prakash, who was present at the panchayat.

Another youth of the family was handed over to police and being questioned to ascertain the whereabouts of the girl.

“We are trying to trace the girl. We have no information about the panchayat. Stern action will be taken against the guilty if the family of the youth is coerced into leaving the village,” said Baghpat station officer R K Singh Yadav.

Baghpat is the same district where a few months ago a panchayat of several communities had banned love marriages.

The panchayat had declared that those marrying against the wishes of the family will not be allowed to live in the village.

“Love marriages will not be accepted and such couples will be thrown out of the village,” it said.

The panchayat was attended by members of as many as 36 communities, including Hindu and Muslims.

Panchayats in UP are infamous for their insensitive and bizarre diktats. In the past, they have pronounced death penalty for lovers and even let off rape accused by imposing fine.

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