Khaps oppose raising marriage age for girls, to hold Panchayat soon

Naresh Tikait, BKU leader and head of Baliyan khap that has over one lakh followers in 78 villages of west Uttar Pradesh, said, "Parents should have the sole right to decide on when to marry off their daughters."

Muzaffarnagar: Khaps in western Uttar Pradesh have strongly opposed the Centre’s decision to raise the eligibility age of women for marriage to 21 years.

The Khap leaders have said that the decision will lead to an increase in crime against women. They also said that the government should not interfere in the personal lives of people.

Naresh Tikait, BKU leader and head of Baliyan khap that has over one lakh followers in 78 villages of west Uttar Pradesh, said, “Parents should have the sole right to decide on when to marry off their daughters.”

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He further said that a ‘mahapanchayat’ of all khaps will soon be convened to discuss the matter.

“When a girl turns adult at 18, what is the harm in her marriage. At this age girls are also allowed to vote,” he pointed out.

Chaudhary Brijpal of Thamba khap said, “The decision will increase crime in society. Girls should be married off at the age of 16.”

The Thamba khap has over 50,000 members in Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and Kairana.

It may be recalled that the Central government recently took the decision to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. The legal age of marriage for men is 21 years.

With this decision the government will be bringing the age of marriage for both men and women at par.

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