Sonipat: A newly married couple in Haryana's Sonipat district, whose marriage was annulled by a 'Khap' (community) panchayat on Tuesday, have decided to defy the diktat and have approached police, seeking protection. The community panchayat of Joli village in this district on Tuesday announced that the two-day-old marriage of the couple, Anil Mehra and Seema Sabarwal, stood annulled. Justifying its bizarre act, the panchayat said the marriage was against social custom.
The couple on Thursday approached Sonipat district police chief Arun Nehra and submitted a written complaint against the panchayat's diktat. They sought police protection. The family members of the couple also urged police to intervene in the matter and resolve the dispute. The panchayat had ordered that the couple terminate their marriage since some people in Joli village belonged to the same gotra as the girl, and that she could not be married to a boy from their village and caste.
"Since we are not complying with the panchayat's verdict, we are apprehensive about any move from the panchayat's side. We have sought police protection for ourselves and our families. We wish to live together," the couple, who got married Sunday, told media persons after meeting the police chief. Police have assured the couple and their family members that they would be provided police protection and said that action as per law would be taken against those members of panchayat who would try to take law into their hands.
In the past, Haryana has witnessed several illegal diktats from Khap panchayats annulling the marriages of couples, saying that they were from the same "gotra" (lineage), caste or village. In some cases, the couples have been victimised and even killed. Their families have also been socially boycotted in some cases.