Shafiq R Khan


Khap forces couple to seek death in Barmer

A newly wed couple in Barmer district has approached the district magistrate seeking permission to end their life after a khap panchayat ordered their separation and payment of Rs 5 lakh. The panchayat had threatened to kill them if the failed to abide by its diktat. 

According to local reports, the khap panchayat of Bhimda village had ruled on March 5 that one Khama would have to severe her relations with her legal husband Chatra Ram and live with one Rekha Ram of the same village. The khap panchayat was called at the request of the maternal uncle and brothers of Khama, as they had allegedly taken Rs 5 lakh from Rekha Ram with a promise that Khama will be married to him. 

The khap asked the couple to pay Rs 5 lakh to Rekha Ram, with whom Khama was told to go. The khap then ruled that the couple would be killed, if they fail to comply with the diktat. 

Khama and Chatra Ram then approached the district magistrate and reportedly put up a bizarre request: that they be allowed to kill themselves as the last attempt to escape the khap diktat. 

Gaurav Goyal, DM, said: "The couple came to me and complained about threats and extortion. We have registered a case." He said Khama had also complained of rape and a complaint has been registered. "Police are investigating the complaints and action will be taken against the culprits," Goyal said. He said the administration has provided the couple a guard for security and khap has been warned of strict action. 

According to reports, Khama was engaged to Chatra Ram in 2001 with the consent of her grandfather and her mother. However, since February 2010, her maternal uncle and brothers had been forcing her to marry Rekha Ram of Mokhab village after they allegedly took money from him. Khama claims she was forcibly sent with Rekha Ram, who allegedly kept her tied with ropes. 

According to sources, she managed to escape and went straight to Chatra Ram. The couple came to Jodhpur in March 2010 and got married as per Arya Samaj traditions. 

However, Khama's brothers lodged a complaint against the couple with the police. The police arrested Chatra Ram from Jalore district. 

In court, Khama expressed her wish to live with Chatra Ram after which court allowed them to live together as they were adult and married without any force or compulsion. 

Khama's brothers then sought help of the khap to get the couple punished. (TOI)

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