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Khap lifts social boycott diktat after 22 years


Bhiwani (Haryana): It took nearly 22 years for a village khap panchayat (caste council) in Haryana to lift the diktat of social boycott of a family. However, the relief came too late for the head of the victim family and his brother who died a year earlier.

Chandram, a resident of Barwas village in Haryana’s Bhiwani district, had married his two sons Sajjan Singh and Umed Singh with two sisters of Beran village in Churu district of Rajasthan.

Following this, Barwas khap panchayat accused Chandram of violating social norms and traditions and they imposed a social boycott of his family August 1988. Though they were allowed to stay in the village, nobody was allowed to interact with the victim family.

“Residents of Barwas village belonged to Sheoran khap and the natives of Beran village belonged to Sindoliya khap. Sheoran and Sindoliya khaps have bondage of bhaichara (brotherly relation) and we cannot marry children from these two khaps,” said a senior member of Barwas village here Saturday.

Chandram and his brother Srichand died last year. However, Chandram’s younger brother, Sukh Lal, sought the panchayat’s pardon.

“Sindoliya khap panchayat, in its meeting Thursday, decided to lift the boycott of the victim family. Now the family members are free to roam around in the village and can talk to anyone,” said a member of Sindoliya khap panchayat here Saturday.

He added: “Sukh Lal and Chandram’s sons have apologised before the panchayat. They have pledged that they will not violate the social norms in future.”

Haryana khap panchayats are famous for their notorious decisions pertaining to marriages between the same clan. In numerous cases, young couples have been killed in the name of honour by the rigid khap members.