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Khaps want strict law against female foeticide

Bhiwani: The influential Khaps or caste councils from three states have vowed to work to end female foeticide and demanded a provision for 10-year jail to the guilty, arguing that if such strict law can be framed for cow slaughter why not for protecting girl child. Breaking from tradition, two women were among those who presided over the largely male-dominated Mahapanchayat (grand assembly) of about 100 khaps from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi yesterday, which decided to promote the Narendra Modi government's flagship 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme. The call was given from Haryana, which has the most skewed gender ratio in the country due to dwindling population of girls. Notably, the Union government's ambitious 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' campaign to improve the child sex ratio was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Panipat in January this year. "Like the cow protection Act, the Haryana government should also frame a law giving 10 years punishment for those caught in acts of female foeticide, besides hefty fines too should be imposed. "If strict law can be there for cows, which we support, then why can't there be a tough law for those who kill the girls inside wombs and don't even allow them to see the outside world," Om Prakash, General Secretary of the Jat Mahasabha, Mann, said today. For "protection and upkeep" of cows, Haryana Assembly had last month passed a Bill which clamps a complete ban on cow slaughter in the state and provides for a rigorous imprisonment ranging from three years to ten years for killing the animal. The Khaps are high influential caste groupings but have gained notoriety in the past with their controversial diktats against same gotra (sub-caste) marriages, uses of mobile phones and other issues. A resolution has been passed under which committees would be formed to take the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao drive to the district, block and village level for creating awareness about the importance of the girl child, Prakash said. They also resolved to "socially boycott" the persons found indulging in female foeticide. He said that Khaps will strive to promote education of girls, make people aware about the ills of dowry practice and help safe girls for a healthy society. "A person who informs about female foeticide, he/she will be honoured by the Khaps," he further said. On the occasion, a pledge was taken by everyone present against female foeticide. PTI

Updated : 20 April 2015 6:10 AM GMT
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