Haryana panchayat pronounces couple brother and sister

Haryana panchayat pronounces couple brother and sister

The couple had married three years ago and has a 10-month-old kid. The khap panchayat consisting of 21 elders of Khedi village announced its diktat saying the couple should not have got married since their respective “gotra” (sub-caste) was tied in the kinship of village brotherhood.

In Haryana, the caste hierarchy among the Jats prohibits marriage between the same gotras and within a village brotherhood.

Hawa Singh, who presided over the khap panchayat, said they recently came to know about Kavita’s gotra, Beniwal, which has a brotherhood with the gotra of her husband, Berwal.

“The panchayat has ordered they cannot live as a couple and pronounced them as brother and sister,” he said.

The panchayat ordered Kavita to live with her parents along with her 10-month-old child, Raunak. An anguished Kavita, who had got married to Satish in 2007, said she wanted to live with her husband only.  “The panchayat should not separate us like this. What is the crime of our small kid,” she said. Satish and his father were too scared to speak anything. “I cannot say anything on the issue right now. We will appeal to the panchayat to reconsider its decision,” was all that Satish could say.

Besides asking the couple to live separately as brother and sister, the panchayat also decreed that Satish should deposit Rs 3 lakh for Raunak and underwrite his property in Raunak’s name. Moreover, Raunak will consider his father, Satish, as his maternal uncle, the panchayat ordered.

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